Porcelain Inlays & Onlays
Porcelain inlays and onlays are a great alternative to traditional amalgam (silver) or bonding (white) fillings, in cases where the decay or fracture is so extensive that a traditional filling would compromise the structural integrity of the restored tooth.
As these restorations are bonded to the tooth itself they are superior in terms of resistance to occlusal forces, protection against recurrent decay, precision of fabrication, marginal integrity, and ease of cleansing. These restorations are esthetically superior to other filling materials as they are most often made of porcelain which does not discolor over time, as bonded composite fillings tend to do.
Similar to an inlay, an onlay is a restoration which incorporates a cusp or cusps of the teeth in question by covering the missing cusps. The onlay allows for conservation of tooth structure when the only alternative is to totally eliminate cusps and perimeter walls for restoration with a crown.
Typically, inlays or onlays are completed in two dental visits, as they are fabricated in a laboratory and then bonded to the tooth in office. In the meantime, a temporary restoration is made and inserted in the tooth to ensure comfort.