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Restorative Dentistry

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays & Onlays from your Oakridge Dentist

Inlays and onlays are called indirect restorations, because the restoration is fabricated outside of the mouth, instead of being built in layers directly into the teeth like a filling. The dentist takes impressions of the teeth, then the restoration is shaped to match the part of the tooth it will replace. The restoration is attached with dental cement.

An indirect restoration is an inlay if it covers part of a tooth, without extending to a cusp (pointed tip of tooth). It is an onlay if it extends to replace a tooth’s cusp. And if it complete covers the top surface of the tooth, it is called a crown or cap. They are made of white composite material, gold, or tooth-coloured porcelain and are made by a professional dental laboratory before they are permanently cemented into the tooth by your dentist.

At our Oakridge dental practice, Inlays and onlays can be used to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma. Also, they are more conservative than crowns because less tooth structure is removed.

Reasons for inlay restorations:

  • Broken or fractured tooth
  • Cosmetic enhancement
  • Decayed teeth
  • Fractured fillings
  • Large fillings

Onlays can be used to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma. Onlays are an ideal alternative to crowns (caps) because less tooth structure is removed in the preparation. Onlays are essentially identical to inlays with the exception that one or more of the chewing cusps or points have also been affected and need to be included in the restoration.

Reasons for onlay restorations:

  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Cosmetic enhancement
  • Decayed teeth
  • Fractured fillings
  • Large fillings

Inlays and onlays are more effective than fillings in reinforcing teeth to withstand biting forces, and more resistant to further decay. If a tooth’s original structure is too compromised to support a filling, these indirect restorations can provide fantastic, long-lasting, beautiful results.

As with most dental restorations, inlays and onlays are not always permanent and may someday require replacement. They are highly durable and will often last many years.

Please contact our South Vancouver dental office today if you’re interested in inlays or onlays, we’ll be happy to discuss your options with you!

 

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