Inlays and onlays are used when the dentist needs to fill an area of the tooth that is bigger than in the case of general dental fillings. This is the best solution if the contact points between the teeth can no longer be created with filling material due to an extensive loss of tooth structure. In addition, inlays and onlays are used when the patient has had a root canal treatment, so that we can restore the teeth.
Inlays and onlays are indirect tooth restoration methods. They are made outside of the mouth. It’s a solid filling made in the laboratory by a dental technician based on dental impressions. The inserts can be made of ceramic, composite and metal. Inlays and onlays are made of ceramic, composite or metal materials.
An inlay is created when the cusps of the tooth can be retained and there is no need to cover the entire chewing surface. Inlays are also applied when more than one cusp of the tooth needs to be covered, but at least one of them remains free.
An onlay is made to cover all the cusps in molars. If the crown of the tooth is severely damaged, it may be necessary to to use onlays that extend over the entire chewing surface to protect the tooth from breaking. After a root canal treatment, we often choose this type of tooth restoration.