Put simply, an inlay or onlay is a filling made of ceramic that is bonded to the tooth. An inlay is contained within the cusp tips of the tooth, whereas an onlay extends to cover one or more cusps of the tooth. They are more durable than fillings made from composite resin and are less extensive than crowns – so as a treatment option they are indicated when a cavity is too big for a regular filling, but the tooth doesn’t quite need a crown.
As inlays and onlays are bonded to the teeth they can actually increase the strength of a damaged tooth.
Our inlays and onlays are made from e.max R (lithium disilicate) ceramic. After preparation, the shape of the tooth is accurately recorded using an intra-oral digital scanner and the information is sent to our dental laboratory in Sydney where the restoration is made. In the meantime, the tooth will be covered with a temporary restoration. A second appointment is required to securely bond the restoration in place. The colour of the inlay or onlay can be made to match the colour of the surrounding teeth.