Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and Onlays are dental composites used in place of fillings to restore a small quantity of tooth structure loss resulting from decay. These are made from gold or tooth-coloured materials such as e-Max ceramic and porcelain or special dental alloy materials. They are bonded to the tooth, which improves the strength of the tooth and helps to seal the inlay to the tooth. Inlays and 0nlays are considered superior to fillings in terms of:
- resistance to the occlusal forces,
- protection against ongoing decay,
- fabrication precision, marginal integrity,
- contouring for healthy gum tissue, and
- ease of cleaning.
Inlays fit into the remaining tooth structure, while Onlays extend to the chewing surface of the back tooth to replace cusps. At one time, both Inlays and Onlays were made of gold, but patients increasing request the tooth-coloured materials that are now popular for restorations using dental composites and ceramics.
Inlays and onlays are used when the patient’s teeth are weakened from extensive restoration, such as when a filling is repeatedly compromised and repaired, for use in larger cavities to assist tooth conservation or when the patient has minimal contour of the remaining coronal tooth tissue with little retention.
Description: PFM – Cast Metal Alloy Sub Structure; Porcelain fused to Metal
Indications: Crowns & Bridges
NON-Precious Metal = Least expensive and strongest
Semi-Precious Metal= Strong, more biocompatible, less plaque formation, less tarnish
Precious Metal = Brilliant esthetics reduces plaque formation, does not tarnish
Limitations: Alloy / Gold is visible
Insertion: Bonded or cemented
Working days in lab: 3
Benefits and Disadvantages
Inlays and Onlays can restore a tooth compromised by moderate decay or damage, and are more comprehensive than dental fillings, but cover a less extensive area than dental crowns do. These dental composites allow the dentist to preserve more of the patient’s original tooth structure, because less tooth structure needs to be removed to place an inlay or Onlay.
Dental fillings are made from either composite resin or amalgam, but Inlays and Onlays are commonly fabricated from porcelain or alloy. As a result the material is durable enough to strengthen a tooth by up to 75%, lasting from 20 to 30 years with proper care. Composite resin fillings, however, typically last just five years.
Amalgam fillings often expand and contract with changes in temperature, which can cause the tooth to weaken or fracture. Small cracks and breaks can harbor bacteria and cause tooth decay. Porcelain or alloy Inlays and Onlays, however, change size or shape with varying temperatures. Their structure makes them a more stable solution in the long-term.
Restorations can be expertly fabricated at Baluke Dental Studios, by milling through CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacture) technology. Using high-quality dental composites, Inlays and Onlays can be shade-matched to blend with the patient’s smile for beautiful, natural-looking results.
Most inlays and Onlays are covered by dental insurance, either in part or in full, and patients can use health savings funds to pay for them too. While these options are more expensive than fillings, it’s worth investing in them to protect your long-term oral health and your smile.
For more information on dental composites made to fabricate Inlays and Onlays, please contact us at 1-800-263-3099 ext. 26 or email.