Inlays or Onlays refer to indirect fillings made of porcelain that fit into or onto a tooth. Its purpose is to make the tooth stronger by reinforcing it, together while retaining a natural, aesthetically pleasing colour. They are used in instances when there is deficient tooth structure to support a filling but the tooth is still in a condition that does not require a crown.
Fillings are similar to regular fillings with the exception being that they are permanently cemented by one’s dentist and are made in a dental lab as opposed to being moulded to shape in one’s mouth.
Receiving a porcelain inlay or onlay requires 2 visits to a dental specialist. In the first visit, the decay of an old filling or cavity is removed and an impression is taken. This impression is used by a dental laboratory to create the indirect filling and records the shape of the damaged tooth and the surrounding teeth. While the inlay is being made, the patient is given a temporary filling to protect the damaged tooth. During the second visit, this temporary filling is removed and the indirect filling is fitted. If the fit is acceptable, it is them permanently cemented into place.
Treatment requires 2 appointments.