A dental inlay is like a customized and permanent filling that is made in a lab (using an impression of the tooth) and later cemented into place. It restores those areas which have been damaged by decay, and as an added benefit can last far longer than traditional fillings.
A dental onlay (sometimes called a “partial crown”) is used when more extensive restorations are required and can be a great alternative to fully crowning a tooth. Onlays allow for more of the natural tooth to stay intact and it does not require reshaping of the tooth. Since the process of bonding is the same as you find with inlays, the longevity is similar.
Appropriate Reasons to Seek Inlay/Onlay
We recommend inlay/onlay restorations for a variety of reasons. Our inlays and onlays make a world of difference to patients who experience tooth fractures, decay, and broken fillings, and can also be used for cosmetic enhancements replacing old silver fillings.