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Inlays & Onlays

What are inlays and onlays?

Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain or composite resin,  These pieces are bonded to the damaged area of the tooth.  An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth.  An onlay is more substantial reconstruction, similar to the inlay but extending out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth.

How are inlays and onlays applied?

Composite resin inlays and onlays require  only one appointment to complete the procedure.  The old fillings is removed, and the tooth is prepared for the inlay or onlay.  No impression is necessary and Dr Sanette Muller will then fit a resin based composite inlay or onlay on the tooth.  If the fit is satisfactory, the inlay or onlay will be bonded to the tooth and then polished to a smooth finish.

Porcelain inlays and onlays require two appointments to complete the procedure.  During the first visit, the old fillings is removed, and the tooth is prepared for the inlay or onlay.  To ensure proper fit and bite, an impression of the tooth is made and sent to a laboratory for fabrication. A temporary sealant will then placed on the tooth. At the second appointment, the temporary sealant is removed.  Dr Sanette Muller will then make sure that the inlay or onlay fits correctly.  If the fit is satisfactory, the inlay or onlay will be bonded to the tooth with a strong resin and polished to a smooth finish.

Why inlays or onlays instead of fillings?

Traditional fillings can reduce the strength of a natural tooth by up to 50 percent.  As an alternative, inlays and onlays, which are bonded directly onto the tooth using special high-strength resins, can actually increase the strenght of a tooth by up to 75 percent.  As a result, they can last from 10 to 30 years.  In some cases, where the damage to the tooth is not extensive enough to merit an entire crown, onlays can provide a very good alternative

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