An inlay is a small filling that fits into the biting surface of a tooth, whereas an onlay addresses a larger area of a tooth, and is suited to larger cavities.
Today, we’re able to use tooth-coloured porcelain to create inlays and onlays, which gives a discreet result that blends in with your natural teeth. Both restorations are made specifically for your tooth, in a dental lab, and whilst an inlay is a little similar to having a filling (with the edges extending to the top edges of the tooth) an onlay fits over the edges, a little like a small cap.
Inlays and onlays usually require 2 appointments.
Examination: your tooth will be examined, so we can identify the need for either an inlay or an onlay to address the decay that’s present.
Cleaning: the decayed matter is removed, and your tooth is then prepared for the inlay or onlay.
Preparation: a 3D image of your tooth is taken, allowing the dental technician to create an inlay or onlay that fits your tooth perfectly.
Fitting: we will carefully fit your inlay or onlay, checking over that it’s precisely the right size. A polish is then applied to the tooth, to give it the same finish as your natural teeth.
They can be made in the image of your natural tooth shade.
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