Recommended for larger cavities where a filling may not be suitable, an inlay or onlay is used to repair the tooth’s biting surface and is generally made from porcelain which is a very strong, natural looking and long lasting material. Made from porcelain, plastic resin or gold, both inlays and onlays can last up to 20 years where oral hygiene is maintained and with regular check-ups to your dentist.
As their name suggests, an inlay sits in a hole inside the tooth like a filling and an onlay is used to build up the shape of a tooth that has been badly damaged by decay.
If decay has built up in a tooth over time, then the area of damaged tooth tissue will have developed into large cavity that will require immediate attention. Without treatment, the decay will continue to grow and spread and could eventually extend into your root canal causing much pain, potential tooth loss and a much more costly treatment plan. Cleaning and safely filling your large cavity with an inlay or an onlay will therefore help protect your tooth from any further infection and decay.