When a tooth has been weakened and can’t support a filling, then we can often restore it to its former glory using dental inlays and onlays. This restorative treatment uses custom made pieces of porcelain or gold which fit into a dental cavity or over a portion of missing tooth to strengthen and protect it. Inlays are placed inside the tooth whereas onlays fit over the tooth.
A totally natural look
Gold has traditionally been used for inlays and onlays because of its strength and durability However, porcelain versions are now rivalling their gold counterparts both for their natural looks and because they are equally as strong. The most important benefit of porcelain inlays and onlays is that this long lasting material can be made to look and feel must like tooth enamel and can be precisely matched to the shade of your own teeth for a totally natural look.
Benefits of inlays and onlays
Inlays and onlays are more resistant to biting forces than other types of fillings but also have other benefits, namely
- Snug fit which eliminates the risk of decay
- Less chance of gum disease
- Easy to clean, so better oral hygiene
Fitting an inlay or onlay usually involves two visits to the clinic. During the first visit we’ll take impressions in order to custom make your inlays or onlays. We’ll also fit you with a temporary inlay or onlay to guard against infection. The second visit will be to fit your permanent inlay or onlay. Once we’ve checked that your bite is functioning efficiently and you’re happy with the aesthetics, then we’ll bond your inlay or onlay to your tooth and polish it for a smooth shiny finish.
Depending on the amount of wear or tear, and provided you maintain a good level of oral hygiene and don’t grind your teeth, you can expect your inlay or onlay to last between 5 and 15 years.
Please note our General Dentistry services are only available in Manchester.