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Long-lasting restorations for damaged teeth

Inlays and onlays (also known as indirect fillings) can be used to restore areas of decay or damage that are too extensive to be treated with a normal filling and can provide a less invasive, more affordable alternative to a crown. A long-lasting restorative solution, they are usually placed in teeth at the back of the mouth or can be used to repair large areas on the front teeth.

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Why have an inlay or onlay?

  • Tailored to fit
  • More of the healthy tooth is preserved
  • Easier to keep clean
  • Protect and strengthen the tooth
  • More durable and stable than fillings

What does the treatment involve?

We firstly remove any areas of decay or old fillings, and carefully clean your tooth.

We take impressions and these are used by a dental laboratory to create the inlay or onlay so it will exactly match the area to be filled. We protect your tooth with a temporary restoration while your inlay or onlay is being made.

When ready, the inlay or onlay is checked for fit and comfort, and then fixed permanently in place with a strong dental adhesive.

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Frequently asked questions

  • They are made from hard wearing materials, including porcelain and composite resin, and if aesthetics is not an issue, gold can be used to provide a particularly durable restoration.

  • If you have a preference for the look of your inlay or onlay, or the material used to make it, please let us know. Many people are now opting for porcelain or composite, as it is tooth coloured and virtually invisible in the mouth. However, we may advise that gold should be used for superior strength and durability, particularly in the back teeth.

  • Inlays, onlays and fillings are all used to repair damage and fill tooth cavities, but they do have differences. Unlike a filling, inlays and onlays are created outside the mouth from an impression taken of the tooth. An inlay is cemented within the cavity and an onlay covers more of the tooth for when the repair needs to include one or more cusps (the points of the tooth), or fully cover the biting surface.

  • As your inlay or onlay is tailored to fit, it can be easier to keep clean than other restorations. Simply treat it as part of your natural tooth and keep up with an effective cleaning routine at home, including brushing and flossing twice a day.

  • When properly maintained, with effective cleaning and regular check-ups, inlays and onlays can last for years.

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Finding our practice and getting in touch

For more information on our treatments or any further enquiries, please contact us today.

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