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Inlays and Onlays

An inlay is an indirect restoration (filling) consisting of a solid substance (as gold or porcelain) fitted to a cavity in a tooth and cemented into place. To make this restoration, an impression of the prepared cavity is taken using an elastic material. It is sent to the dental technician who will make the inlay. Most inlays are made of gold or tooth-coloured porcelain.

Inlays are alternatives to fillings although they are much more expensive than composite fillings. What's the best for you will be determined by the extent of the repair your allergies to certain materials where in your mouth the filling is needed and the costs.

Considerations for different materials include:

Gold fillings which are called gold inlays are made in a laboratory and then cemented into place. Gold inlays are well tolerated by gum tissues, and may last more than 20 years. For these reasons, many dentists consider gold the best filling material. However, it is often the most expensive choice and requires multiple visits.

Porcelain fillings are called porcelain inlays or onlays and are produced to order in a laboratory and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth and resist staining. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth. Their cost is similar to gold.

Your dentist will recommend you a crown (cap), if a decay or a fracture has damaged a large portion of the tooth.

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