When more than half of the tooth’s biting surface is damaged, we may use an inlay or onlay. Inlays and Onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin.
The inlay or onlay pieces are bonded to the damaged area of the tooth. An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth. An onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, similar to the inlay but extending out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth.
Porcelain is the material of choice due to its colour and strength, which matches the natural colour of your teeth.
Traditional fillings can reduce the strength of a natural tooth by up to 50 percent. Inlays and onlays are bonded directly to the tooth using special high-strength resins can actually increase the strength of a tooth by up to 75 percent. As a result, they can potentially last from 10 to 30 years. In some cases, where the damage to the tooth is not extensive enough to merit an entire crown, onlays can provide a very good alternative.