Inlays & Onlays
Inlays and onlays, also called indirect fillings, are dental restorations that are fabricated in a dental lab and then bonded to a damaged tooth. When the restoration is bonded to the biting surface and covers one or more cusps of the tooth, it is called an onlay. When it is bonded within the center of a tooth, it is called an inlay. Made from either porcelain or gold, inlays and onlays are stable and durable dental restorations.
An inlay or onlay may be a good choice for you if the structure of your damaged tooth is in good condition. Dr. Kratz may recommend an onlay as a conservative alternative to a full coverage dental crown. Unlike crowns, onlays do not require the complete reshaping of your tooth and can offer a more tailored fit. Dr. Kratz may recommend an inlay instead of a traditional filling if your tooth has minimal to moderate tooth decay or if decay is present between your teeth.
Because they require a minimal amount of healthy tooth structure to be removed, inlays and onlays can help to preserve a tooth's long-term functionality and aesthetic qualities. Treatment that involves an inlay or onlay is typically completed in two office visits and is similar to being fitted for a crown.