Dental Onlays cover only about ¾ of the tooth and are sometimes referred to as partial crowns. They are used to restore back teeth that have a moderate amount of decay. These partial crowns are created to restore teeth that are cracked or fractured, only when there is still a healthy enamel portion of the tooth left. Onlays are less invasive than crowns, when it comes to preparation and can repair the tooth while preserving vital natural tooth structure.
Like Onlays, Inlays require less healthy tooth structure to be removed during preparation. An inlay man only placed when there is not damage to any of the cusps (outer-edges) of your tooth. It is a like a puzzle piece that will be fitted into the remaining portion of the tooth to help increase its strength, like a larger, harder laboratory fabricated dental filling.
Both Inlays and Onlays are usually crafted out of porcelain or gold, but can also be made of a composite material. When created from gold or porcelain, Inlays and Onlays do not expand or contract with the temperature changes caused by hot or cold foods. This is a significant step forward from a amalgam or resin composite dental fillings, which a can do both leaving the tooth exposed to the potential of new decay or additional loss of tooth structure. Inlays and Onlays that are made of porcelain or gold usually last up to 30 years, much longer than that of conventional fillings.
We will make the determination as to which restoration will work best in your specific situation.