Inlays & Onlays
When cavities become too large, an ordinary filling is not strong enough to cope with the normal biting forces. The dentist will need to have stronger fillings made in a laboratory. An inlay is used for this purpose and as the name suggests it fits inside the tooth. An onlay covers the top of the tooth and is used for worn teeth, or where the remaining tooth needs strengthening to prevent it breaking away. Sometimes a combination of both is used. They are either cemented or bonded to the natural tooth.
They can be made of gold, non-precious metals, porcelain or special plastics. The choice depends on the position in the mouth in which they are to be placed, the strength of the bite, whether the patient grinds their teeth, and to some extent the wish to have a tooth coloured filling.