Friday, August 15, 2014

Porcelain Inlays and Onlays

One innovative way to restore a tooth that has been moderately to extensively destroyed by decay, previous drilling, or fracture is with a porcelain inlay or onlay. An inlay is a restoration in which a portion of the occlusal (biting) surface is restored. An onlay will restore more of the entire biting surface of the tooth. You might need an inlay alone, an onlay alone, or a combination inlay/onlay. This is considered a very conservative restoration.

The porcelain material produces an excellent esthetic result. The porcelain inlay or onlay is bonded to the tooth, making it very strong. It can be used with wonderful results in small, medium, and even large restorations lasting more than 12 years, relatively trouble-free. 

An outside laboratory is involved in the construction of this type of restoration. During the 2- to 3-week processing time while the inlay or onlay is being made, the tooth will be protected by a temporary restoration. Porcelain inlays and onlays do have some disadvantages. They are more expensive to make and place and they take two appointments to complete. They must be adjusted and polished well or they can cause wear of the opposing enamel, exactly like a porcelain fused to metal crown. Porcelain biting surfaces can cause more rapid wear of opposing natural teeth, especially in the posterior areas where a metal biting surface may be advised.

Advantages include the excellent esthetics, high strength, predicted longevity, and conservative preparation (less drilling than a crown). If the porcelain does chip, it can be repaired. However, you should not chew ice cubes, "jaw breakers," or other hard candy with these or any other type of restoration.

Anything that you put in your mouth that can break a real tooth can break this type of restorative material.

For patients who want a strong, long-lasting, conservative restoration that very closely matches a tooth, porcelain is possible the best choice. All things considered, it is not as expensive as it might appear. Once it is finished, the tooth, if cared for properly, should not have to be drilled again for years. It does allow the conservation of most of the natural tooth. Remember, out goal is to preserve as much of your natural tooth structure as possible.

If you have any questions about porcelain inlays and onlays, please feel free to ask us.


  1. Porcelain Inlays and Onlays are durable and an excellent way to restore back teeth that have lost their strength. They're also great for repairing teeth that have become decayed or heavily restored.

  2. Inlays and onlays are strong, long lasting and well-fitting tooth repair resolutions when patients present with tooth decay. Cosmetic Dentist Las Vegas

  3. Thanks for the post. I really like reading this post. This dental procedure is expensive I think. Dental discount plans MD is nowadays very popular and I always prefer it for my dental expenses.

  4. Thanks for taking the time to share this informative details with us. There was plenty of information you provided. Have a great rest of your day.
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