Inlays / Onlays / White Fillings
There are two of different types of tooth coloured restorations, known as inlays or onlays, both of which have been designed to fill cavities and gaps created by decay in teeth. Restorations are designed for use in rear teeth and are made of either composite resin material, porcelain or gold by a specialist dental laboratory. Like many other forms of cosmetic dentistry, these tooth coloured restorations are created for a purely aesthetic purpose and provide the patient with natural looking teeth. Inlays refer to small fillings placed within the biting surface of the tooth, while onlays refer to a larger area of filling that covers more damage.
- an inlay fills a hole inside the tooth
- an onlay sits on top of the tooth to build up its shape.
They can also be used to:
- Restore teeth that are cracked or fractured if the damage is not severe enough to require a dental crown.
- Replace metal fillings for patients who desire a more natural looking smile.
- Their use helps to conserve much of the natural tooth structure.
1. While you are under anaesthesia, the dentist will isolate the tooth and remove any old fillings or damaged tooth structure to make sure it is as clean as possible.
2. An impression of the tooth is made and then sent away to a laboratory to be transforming into a porcelain, composite resin or gold inlay or onlay.
3. Once the filling is created, you will return to the clinic and have another anaesthesia, under which the inlay or onlay will be cemented into place.
4. Any adjustments are often made up to a few weeks after the treatment to ensure your new fillings are comfortable and secure.
Benefits of Inlays / Onlays / White Fillings
In treating dental decay, inlays and onlays help to eliminate tooth sensitivity and eventual tooth loss.
Inlays and onlays also offer the following benefits:
- Made from tooth-coloured material, inlays and onlays are virtually invisible.
- Unlike metal fillings, inlays and onlays will not expand or contract in response to temperature changes caused by hot or cold foods diminishing the possibility of fracture.
- Inlays and onlays requires less tooth reduction than metal fillings allowing the dentist to conserve more natural tooth structure.
- The durable material from which inlays and onlays are made helps them last up to 30 years, much longer than that of conventional amalgam fillings.
- Inlays and onlays can replace silver fillings to create a healthier, more natural-looking smile.
- By saving decayed teeth, inlays and onlays prevent the need for more extensive treatment later on.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment to get an opinion on your need for an inlay or onlay.
Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss any aspect of your dental health – we don’t charge for giving advice!
What is the difference between inlays and onlays?
The only different between inlays and onlays is the area of tooth that is covered by the treatment. In an inlay treatment, patients typically require filling in the centre of the tooth to help with biting and chewing. However, an onlay covers a much larger area, and will help to fill in any damage on the outside of the tooth to remove unsightly damage and create a flawless set of teeth you can be proud of.
What is the difference between the three types of filling?
Each filling offers its own benefits to patients. Gold fillings are the most durable on the market, lasting decades if treated carefully. Porcelain inlays are the fastest inlays and onlays to create thanks to Cadcam technology, and also offer long lasting protection for your tooth. Composite fillings are not quite as hard wearing but are easy to match with the natural colour of the tooth and are one of the cheapest filling treatments available. When you first contact Dr Aisha Ahmed she will examine your teeth and help you consider which option would be best for you.
Can I replace my old metal fillings with white fillings?
Yes. This simple procedure it performed by Dr Aisha Ahmed and her team regularly and is almost as easy as creating a new filling from scratch. Unlike metal fillings, white fillings offer an invisible result that blends seamlessly with the tooth and ensures a bright smile that will help build your confidence.