Inlays and overlays
Inlays are an indirect restoration of the tooth using a solid substance. The substance is fitted to a cavity and cemented into a place. Inlays protect the teeth against recurrent decay and the deepening of the cavity.
Ceramic inlays or overlays are much more durable than composite fillings. These types of fillings are used in larger areas where the tooth structure needs more support.
Inlays and onlays/overlays are an excellent way to help solve a problem caused by moderate decay. They are also an excellent option for patients who need a long-term, durable restoration and would like to limit the amount of healthy tooth structure that has to be removed.
The benefits of using inlays and onlays:
· Less tooth material is removed, so inlays and onlays tend to be more conservative and aesthetically similar to natural teeth. The inlay and onlay procedures strengthen the tooth’s structure as compared to fillings where the structure may be weakened due to removing too much tooth material.
· Inlays and onlays are also likely to last longer than a regular filling, because the inlay or onlay material is custom made and bonded or fused to the tooth. Porcelain is stronger than plastic.
· Inlays or onlays will not discolour over time, as resin fillings usually do.
· Inlays and onlays are custom made so they fit better. They do not shrink or change size during the curing process, which makes it a lot easier for you to clean or brush your teeth.
Difference between Inlays and Onlays
When the ceramic filling material is bonded in the centre of the tooth, it is called an inlay. If the damage is more widespread and the new structure covers the whole chewing surface including one or more tooth cusps, the procedure is called an onlay.