What Are Porcelain Inlays/Onlays?
Porcelain inlays/onlays are custom-made porcelain restorations that fit perfectly inside of a prepared tooth. Once the old metal filling or cavities have been removed from the tooth, a highly accurate impression is taken, and a temporary restoration is placed. After we receive the restoration from the lab, we check that it fits perfectly in your mouth, then cement it in place. Inlays/Onlays may last a lifetime with proper care and provide more protection than a regular filling. The best part, you won’t even know it’s there.
Porcelain Inlays/Onlays Advantages
- Porcelain restorations can be colored perfectly to match the existing tooth and look unbelievably natural. They are much more aesthetically pleasing than metal or amalgam.
- Porcelain inlays/onlays are stain resistant.
- Porcelain inlays/onlays provide much needed support to teeth that are too damaged for a regular small filling.
- Porcelain inlays/onlays are more conservative than typical crowns (caps) and can save healthy tooth structure, thus providing more natural support.
What is the difference between a composite-filling and a porcelain inlay/onlay?
A composite fillings are made of a putty-like resin that is used for smaller cavities/restorations and cured/hardened with a special light. Porcelain inlays/onlays are hard custom manufactured inserts that are usually placed in larger cavities and areas where there is less tooth structure and more need for support. Since composite fillings are free flowing and able to be placed immediately after the tooth is prepared, composites can be done in one office visit. Porcelain inlays/onlays, on the other hand, are indirect restorations meaning they require a special lab and experienced ceramist to create them so they can be placed during your second visit. The benefit, however, is the inlay/onlay will last longer and look more brilliant.