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    Inlays and Onlays

    Dental inlays and onlays are a medium between dental crowns and fillings. They are implicated on teeth at the back of a mouth that has suffered a moderate level of decay, or placed on teeth that have undergone some fracturing. Typically, however, more serious damage will probably require a crown.

    Inlays and onlays are generally made from resin, porcelain, zirconia or gold. Onlays are used to cover one cusp or more, whereas dental inlays tend to be used more as a filling between cusps.

    How long do Inlays and Onlays last?

    They can potentially last for decades. This, however, this depends on a number of factors, such as which tooth the product is applied to, the material, forces of chewing, the level of care taken by the patient, and oral hygiene.

    How are dental Inlays and Onlays applied?

    Generally, this procedure requires two dental visits, due to the fact the inlay or onlay is moulded to the exact size and shape in a dental laboratory. At the first appointment, your dentist will remove the damaged part of the tooth and shape the remaining tooth to aid retention of the inlay or onlay. An impression is taken, and the inlay or onlay is then constructed in the dental laboratory. The following appointment will involve the application of the inlay or onlay onto the tooth. It is carefully positioned, cemented onto the tooth and then polished and smoothed.


    There are a number of positive points that are associated with dental inlays and onlays;

    • You are able to choose natural coloured inlays and onlays, which are camouflaged, making sure your smile will not be made more unattractive.
    • As inlays and onlays are generally not composed of metal like conventional fillings, they will not change in shape or size if the teeth are subjected to changes in temperature.
    • More of your tooth is maintained than with a traditional filling, which often makes the procedure more appealing and popular.
    • Dental inlays and onlays can strengthen the tooth in question by around 75%, thanks to the process that goes into producing them

    Potential risks

    There are an extremely limited number of risks associated with dental inlays and onlays. In general, the risks are more associated with the local anaesthetic used to numb the area for the procedure. Patients may have an allergy to an ingredient that makes up the actual inlay or onlay, although this is very rare.

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