Inlays and onlays are similar kinds of restoration but cover different portions of the tooth. The dental inlay fills the space between the cusps at the center of the tooth’s surface, while the dental onlay covers one or more cusps. Dental onlays provide extensive coverage and are oftentimes referred to as “partial crowns.” This process is done to strengthen the tooth, restore its shape, and prevent further damage.
The process for inlays and onlays is completed within a few weeks:
- During the procedure, the decayed area of the tooth is removed.
- A mold of the tooth is taken and sent to a dental lab. A restoration will be made from porcelain, gold, or a composite resin.
- The restoration takes about 2-3 weeks to make, so a temporary inlay or onlay will be placed on the tooth during that time.
- During your next visit, the inlay or onlay will be placed on your tooth and set with cement.
Your tooth will look like it has always been a part of your natural smile!