Everyone has heard of tooth fillings, and most adults can even show you theirs.
Most people even have a pretty good understanding of how they work- the doctor removes the decayed bits of tooth, and the cavity is then filled up with composite resin. Inlays and onlays are basically fillings that are made in a dental laboratory, without the dentist o patient.
The first step of the process is the same as with regular fillings: the dentist removes the decayed bits of the tooth with a hand device, and shapes the cavity so it can best accept the inlay or onlay. After this an imprint of the affected tooth and the nearby teeth is taken, and is them promptly sent to our dental laboratory. Our technicians will prepare an exact replica of the missing portion of the tooth in a few days, and will then send it back to us to use.
Inlays and onlays are made of the same materials, the difference lies in their relative position on the tooth surface. While an inlay covers a missing piece of the tooth, the onlay covers the entire surface, or most of it, restoring normal chewing function.
Inlays and onlays can be made in many different ways, and form many different materials. Your dentist will recommend the material that is best for you, considering your health, the functionality of the teeth, and the aesthetic appearance of the restoration. Most people use composite resin to make their onlays, but ceramic and even gold restorations are quite possible, too.
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