Decayed or chipped teeth can often be repaired with white composite fillings that look natural, however if the damage is too substantial, particularly on the back teeth, then an inlay or onlay may be a better long-term option. Inlays or onlays can be made from a number of strong materials such as metals or ceramics.
An inlay is a small filling that fits into the biting surface of a tooth. An onlay covers a larger area of the tooth and is better suited to bigger cavities. Gold was traditionally used for these types of restorations. However, in recent times hard-wearing tooth-coloured porcelain has become a more popular choice of material. This is a more aesthetic way to restore the teeth and creates a more natural-looking smile.
After preparing your tooth, an impression is made of your tooth, the inlay or onlay will be made in a dental laboratory by a technician.
While these are being made, you will wear a temporary inlay/onlay. When your inlay or onlay is ready we will bond it into place using a special adhesive, after removing the temporary restoration. Your restored tooth will not only look like a real tooth but also function like one, allowing you to bite, chew and eat without any discomfort.
Once they're in place, no special after-care or follow up visits are required apart from your usual examination and maintenance regime of brushing, flossing, and seeing a hygienist regularly.