Inlays and onlays are special restorations that are used when teeth have large areas of damage but are not so damaged that they need crowns. These restorations are made to fit precisely and are bonded to your tooth to ensure greater strength and durability. They are made with porcelain for superior aesthetics.
Inlays, which are sometimes called indirect fillings, are used when the damage only affects the part of the tooth inside the cusps. Onlays, which can also be called partial crowns, are used when the damage includes one or more cusps. The preparation is similar for both types of restorations. The decay is removed, and a dental impression is made. The impression is sent to a lab, which creates the new restoration using porcelain, and a temporary inlay or onlay is applied to your tooth.
The restoration is bonded to the tooth when the lab completes it. First, we will remove the temporary and check that the fit and bite is correct. We then apply an etching liquid that roughens the surface of the tooth for a stronger bond between the tooth and porcelain. Next, a bonding material is applied to cement the inlay or onlay to the tooth, and the material is cured, or hardened, using a special light.
An inlay or onlay can last as long as a dental crown as long as it is properly maintained. Call our office today to learn more about your restoration options or to schedule an appointment with our Los Angeles dentist.