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Inlays/Onlays

Inlays and onlays are very similar ‘hand crafted’ or ‘computer controlled’ restorations.
They are a conservative way of treating a tooth when more than half the tooth surface is damaged and can be made to look very cosmetically pleasing.
Inlays and onlays require 2 visits to the dentist and can be made of porcelain, gold or composite resin.

Inlays tend to be in between 2 walls of tooth, whereas onlays cover over the edge of at least one corner of tooth (like a small crown).

Traditional fillings tend to be rougher in between the teeth and can also reduce the strength of a tooth by up to 50%. Inlays and onlays are smooth in between teeth (making flossing easier) and when bonded can actually increase the strength of a tooth by up to 75%.

It should also be noted that one visit composite resins (white fillings) actually shrink when setting and this can create a food trap in between the teeth, leading to root canal therapy sooner than if the same tooth was treated with an inlay or onlay which fit more precisely.