After the repair of the tooth cavity, in cases where a large part of the tooth is missing, we suggest our patients to have an inlay or onlay done. The difference between these two is only their size. Onlay covers the whole chewing surface of the tooth. An inlay is done when the cavity in a tooth is smaller. Regardless of the size of this restoration, the procedure of getting it done is the same.
This procedure is done with local anesthesia. After removing the cavity of the tooth, we must take the impression. We then send it to a dental laboratory. Inlay or onlay is then being made out of porcelain, to fit your tooth perfect. After a couple of weeks, you come back to our clinic and inlay (or onlay) is definitely placed in your tooth. Then we do a detailed checkup to see how do you bite with this restoration. It is important to make it perfect so that you don’t feel like you have something done to that tooth.
In the meantime, while you wait for your tooth to be finished, you will have a temporary filling in your tooth with which you can talk, eat and maintain oral hygiene.
The advantage of inlay and onlay over composite filling is their durability. They are most often made of porcelain and their lifespan is a lot longer than ordinary filings. Well done and well-kept inlay and onlay can last for the rest of your life. Also, the aesthetic of the tooth itself after the end of this procedure is much better than with the ordinary filling.
The advantage of making these restorations over making the crown is that it does not require additional tooth drilling.
Maintaining the oral hygiene of these restorations is the same as maintaining all of your natural teeth. Regular tooth brushing, regular flossing, and checkups twice a year will give a long life span to all your restorations.