If patients wish a longer lasting restoration, or if the size of the filling is greater than 40-50% of the biting surface of the tooth, then an inlay may be chosen. Inlays are fillings that are processed in a dental lab. They are usually gold or porcelain. The life expectancy of inlays far exceeds that of fillings, especially with gold inlays. By definition, an inlay lies inside the cusp tips of the tooth.
If an inlay covers one or more cusps of a tooth, it is considered an onlay. Onlays have the same advantages as inlays, but are used when tooth damage is more extensive.
We offer bonded, tooth colored restorations for a number of reasons:
- We are able to make invisible fillings with this material. In addition, there will be no future black staining of the tooth which is so common around old silver-mercury fillings.
- The latest bonded, tooth colored materials are just as strong as silver-mercury fillings, and are able to be bonded very strongly to natural tooth structure. This enables us to place a restoration which will function for many years and help the patient avoid tooth fracture, the side effect so common with silver-mercury fillings.