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General & Restorative Dentistry

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0117 951 3026

Horfield Dental Care, 525 Gloucester Road, Bristol, BS7 8UG

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Inlays and Onlays

Dental inlays and onlays are a form of tooth protection that represents a halfway point between crowns and fillings. Intended for rear teeth that have been cracked or broken, they are fabricated from tooth-coloured material to create a more natural result than that offered by traditional metal fillings.

If one of your back teeth is too broken or fragile to support a filling but enough healthy tooth structure remains to make a crown unnecessary, your dentist may recommend an inlay or onlay.

What’s the difference between an inlay and an onlay?

Although their overall purpose is similar, inlays are applied to treat the area within the cusp of the tooth, while onlays cover larger surfaces. Both are made mainly from gold, composite resin, or porcelain. The latter two can be created to match the colour of your own teeth, yielding a more aesthetic result than gold.

How are inlays and onlays applied?

Both restorations generally require two office visits to complete. After numbing the tooth with a local anaesthetic, your dentist will remove any decay and carefully prepare the tooth. An impression of the tooth is then taken and sent to a dental laboratory, where your restoration will be created. In the interim, a temporary inlay or onlay will be placed to protect your tooth until the next visit.

When the new inlay or onlay arrives at our office, we will call you in to have it fitted. Your dentist will gently remove the temporary restoration and replace it with your permanent one. After testing your bite and ensuring an accurate fit of the inlay or onlay it will be bonded to your tooth with a high-quality dental adhesive. The restoration is finally polished for a natural and pleasing lustre.

If you think you may need an inlay or onlay, call Horfield Dental Care today. We have helped many satisfied patients resume a pain-free bite, and we welcome the opportunity to do the same for you.

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