Inlays and onlays are often referred to as partial crowns. They use the existing tooth as a base and fit the inlay or onlay onto the tooth. This is done to strengthen the tooth, restore its shape, and prevent further damage. An inlay is done when there is no damage to the cusps of the tooth and the inlay can be placed right on the tooth. An onlay is used when the damage is a little more extensive.
The decayed area of the tooth is first removed during the procedure. A digital image of the tooth is then taken and sent to our CEREC milling unit. It creates a restoration made from porcelain. The restoration takes about 10-20 minutes to make in the office, so a temporary inlay or onlay is no longer necessary. During the same visit the inlay or onlay will be placed into your mouth and set with cement. Your tooth will look natural and you or anyone else won't be able to tell the difference.