Inlays and onlays are used in a very similar way to a simple filling to repair, restore and protect a tooth that has become damaged due to decay, injury, or in some cases simple wear and tear. The differences between inlays and onlays and simple fillings is that they normally have to be made off-site in a dental laboratory and therefore require more than one appointment. They are also used to address damaged teeth in different areas of the mouth.
Inlays are most commonly used to repair a tooth that has a larger surface area and these are normally our teeth at the back of the mouth which are used for chewing. Inlays are more similar to fillings than onlays, in that they are used to quite literally fill in the damaged tooth. An inlay will then be bonded into place, leaving the tooth protected from further damage.
Onlays are used to repair the cusp of a tooth. The cusp is the part of the tooth that is visible and so we most often use onlays when repairing teeth closer to the front of the mouth. Onlays are usually made in a dental laboratory by skilled technicians, allowing us to then fit them here for you in the practice.
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