Unfortunately, poor oral hygiene and poor nutrition can lead to tooth decay. This can be treated by removing the infected carious material and restoring the tooth with a filling material or inlay/onlay.
Inlays are bonded fillings that replace missing tooth tissue. They are made by a dental technician based on an impression of the tooth.
How are inlays and onlays made? Inlay-Onlay
- In the first step your dentist removes the carious tooth tissue under local anaesthesia and creates a cavity for the inlay/onlay. The design of the cavity requires precise work; it is important that the inlay/onlay is easy to fit in place, while there is no gap between the inlay/onlay and the walls of the cavity.
- In the second step, an impression of the prepared tooth is taken and sent to the dental laboratory, where the porcelain inlay/onlay is built up in several layers. The individual layers harden under enormous heat and pressure, making the inlay/onlay particularly resistant to the forces acting on it.
- In the third step, your dentist will try the inlay/onlay into the cavity, and if everything is perfect, will cement it into the cavity. The end result is an aesthetic and long-lasting restoration.
The colour and translucency of the restoration will match the colour of your own teeth perfectly. It provides a beautiful aesthetic experience and is also extremely durable.
Inlay or onlay restorations are usually used in cases of more advanced tooth decay .
An incipient dental cavity can only be detected by dental examination and is almost invisible to the naked eye. Caries are usually treated with aesthetic fillings. However, if the cavity in a tooth becomes too large when the decayed material is removed, a traditional filling is not safe enough. This is where inlays and onlays come into play.
An inlay/onlay is a type of filling that replaces missing tooth tissue.
The difference between inlays and onlays is that inlays fill only the tooth cavity, whereas onlay prostheses are applied when the damage affects the tooth surface and is too large for an inlay to be sufficient.
An inlay/onlay is a long-term investment as it lasts several times longer than traditional fillings.
Frequently asked questions
What materials can be used for inlays and onlays?
Composite inlays/onlays: Inlays/onlays made of the same material as the filling are more durable and aesthetically pleasing than a large, in-office filling.
Ceramic inlays/onlays: Precise and hard inlays/onlays, and the most aesthetic restoration. Gold inlays/onlays: Gold can be used to make the most precise, and therefore most durable restoration, but is less aesthetically pleasing.
How are inlays and onlays made?
The cavity is first properly shaped and impressed, and then a temporary filling material is placed in the tooth. The dental technician will then prepare the inlay or onlay in the plaster cast of the impression in the shade of we have chosen, which matches your teeth best.
At the next treatment, after the temporary filling is removed, the final version of the inlay or onlay is bonded into the tooth.
When is it better to apply an inlay or onlay instead of a filling?
- In many cases, when the caries in a tooth is so large that after cleaning a large part of the tooth is missing and cannot be restored correctly with a filling material, an inlay or onlay is applied.
- An inlay or onlay is also the ideal choice for root-treated teeth, as these teeth are less resistant to chewing forces, and an inlay can strengthen them.
- This treatment results in the most aesthetic chewing surface, and it is often the only way to achieve a close fit with adjacent teeth to prevent food from getting stuck between the teeth.
- In some cases, a tooth gap can be filled with a special bridge with pillars that are fixed in the teeth adjacent to the gap. This is known as Maryland bonded bridge. It has the advantage that fewer of the pillar teeth have to be removed than if they were ground down for a crown to be applied.
What are inlays and onlays?
Inlays and onlays are solid fillings that are fixed in a firm state by bonding into the properly formed cavity. Inlays and onlays are therefore not built in the mouth by layering the filling material, but are made by a dental technician. The disadvantage of this solution is that it is more expensive and takes two sessions to prepare; on the other hand, it is more durable and aesthetically pleasing than a filling.