More conservative than a crown, inlays and onlays are two methods of restoring normal tooth structure after decay or other damage. Inlays and onlays are known as indirect fillings because unlike a standard filling that is done in a
dentist's office, both are made in a laboratory and cemented or bonded to the surface of the tooth during a second visit to the dentist. And unlike standard fillings, inlays and onlays do not weaken the tooth structure, but actually
strengthens it. After the procedure the tooth can bear up to 50 - 75% more chewing force.
An inlay is done when the tooth structure replaced is within the cusp tips of the tooth. If the damage is more extensive and the new structure covers the entire chewing surface including one or more tooth cusps, the procedure is called an onlay.
Is Bonding Right For Me?
Bonding can be employed to change the size or shape of your teeth, creating a smile that appears more symmetrical and space free. This single-visit procedure provides a fast solution for a more attractive smile and may eliminate the need for orthodontic treatment in some cases.
Tooth stains and discolorations that resist professional tooth whitening procedures may also be masked by bonding. Although bonding may not be as long lasting as porcelain veneers or crowns, in can last for a number of years with proper care.