Dental inlays and onlays are restorations used to repair back teeth with mild to moderate decay or cracked and fractured teeth that are not sufficiently damaged to need a crown.Ideal candidates for inlay or onlay work typically have too much damage or decay in the tooth structure to be successfully treated using a filling, but have sufficient healthy tooth remaining to avoid the need for a crown. This allows the dentist to conserve more of the patient’s original tooth structure. Inlays and onlays are durable — they’re made from tough, hard-wearing materials which are made in laboratory
Dental inlays and onlays are used when old fillings need to be removed or replaced. A dental inlay is similar to a filling and fits inside the cusp tips (top edges) of the tooth. A dental onlay is more extensive and extends over the cusps of the treated tooth.
During treatment we remove the old filling and take an impression of the tooth, which is sent to the dental laboratory. The new inlay or onlay is made from this impression in composite, metal or zircomium (bruxzir) material. The inlay or onlay is then cemented into place at the next appointment. The inlay or onlay blends successfully with the treated tooth and the rest of the teeth to achieve a natural, uniform appearance.
It takes two appointments for the inlays and onlays treatment to be completed and to be finally bonded to the damaged area of the tooth.
This material is a composite resin which is tooth coloured in appearance and enables the inlay/onlay to match the rest of your teeth. A composite inlay is a good option, however it is not as resistant to the forces of the mouth as the metal and bruxzir options. Composite inlays are available on the NHS as a band three treatment, and are available privately.
Metal inlays/onlays are made from a metal alloy, these are not as aesthetically pleasing as tooth coloured inlays/onlays but in some situations are necessary in cases where bruxism (tooth grinding) has lead to the loss of a considerable amount of tooth surface. These are available on the NHS as a band three treatment, and are also available privately.
BruxZir is a solid zirconia restoration that combines has the functionality of the metal option, whilst being more aesthetic than the composite option. It is an ideal solution for a posterior inlay when you are concerned about the aesthetics. Bruxzir is only available privately at our clinic, as for function a metal inlay is comparable.