Smilemakers
Beaufort House
Hamble Lane
Bursledon
Southampton
SO31 8BR

Inlays & Onlays

Similar to fillings, inlays and onlays are used to restore a tooth's integrity and function following damage. The difference being that, whereas a standard filling is applied directly into/onto your tooth and hardens in your mouth, inlays and onlays are custom-made out of the mouth and then cemented in place. Inlays and onlays are used when the tooth structure is not sufficient enough to place a regular filling and the result is much stronger.

The difference between inlays and onlays is that an inlay is placed inside a cavity on your tooth whilst an onlay replaces the cusp(s) (tips) of your tooth. These two terms are often used interchangeably.

After an initial consultation with you to discuss your options, the process of placing inlays and onlays is usually spread over two appointments, although it can be possible to have both appointments on the same day at Smilemakers using the unique Cerec technology.

  • Appointment 1: We numb your tooth and remove any decay. Next, we prepare the cavity to receive the inlay, before taking an impression of it. This is used by our lab to custom-make your new inlay (or onlay). Before you go, we also place a temporary restoration
  • Appointment 2: We may need to numb your tooth again to remove the temporary restoration and bond or cement the new one into place. After this is done, you can walk out with a newly restored smile!

The different types of inlays and onlays each have their own characteristics and strengths and weaknesses, some of which are listed below. Remember that these are all relative and that the best person to talk to is your dentist!

playInlays & Onlays

Advantages:-

Very strong and less likely to break than other fillings and inlays/onlays

Similar wear rate to natural tooth enamel and therefore less likely to wear opposing teeth than porcelain

The gold content of the crown alloys a very close fit to be achieve to the underlying tooth

Disadvantages:-

Appearance can be an issue for some people

High cost due to gold content

playInlays & Onlays

Advantages:-

The optimal choice for aesthetics with less tooth preparation than for porcelain

Disadvantages:-

Composite is weaker than gold or porcelain and not suitable for all cases

More technique-dependent to place

playInlays & Onlays

Advantages:-

Good aesthetics can be achieved with less tooth preparation than a crown

Disadvantages:-

Porcelain can fracture

More abrasive on opposing teeth than gold

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