What Are Porcelain Inlays and Onlays?
Porcelain Inlays and Onlays are restorative fillings that are made using different materials such as porcelain, gold or composite. Porcelain is often the most popular because it mimics natural tooth color. The porcelain is custom created to fit into the prepared tooth cavity and cemented in. Porcelain on its own can be very brittle, but when porcelain is bonded to tooth structure, it becomes very strong and durable.
Due to the durability of porcelain inlays and onlays, they may be recommended for patients who have more severe decay that cannot be repaired by a traditional filling. Generally, teeth that are broken, have severe decay or have fractured fillings are recommended to receive a porcelain inlay or onlay.
What Is the Difference Between an Inlay and an Onlay?
Inlays and onlays are both made at dental laboratories. Therefore, the process generally takes two visits to complete. Porcelain inlays are used in place on traditional silver or composite fillings. They are placed into the prepared tooth where a filling would be placed. Onlays are also known as “partial crowns” and they are caps that help protect the chewing surface of the tooth that has been damaged. Both inlays and onlays last for a very long time and provide patients with beautiful results, but they may eventually need to be replaced.