Ceramic Dental Fillings & Inlays/Onlays
Ceramic fillings, inlays and onlays are various ways to repair a damaged tooth similar to a filling but manufactured in a different way. With a filling, a hole in a tooth is filled with a filling material which is soft but then hardens into a proper filling. This is done on the spot in a single appointment. Inlays and onlays are made by taking a mould of the tooth and the hole in it and then sending the mould off to a laboratory where they can make a custom restoration to repair the damage to the tooth. This restoration is then cemented into place at a second appointment.
Inlays/onlays can be made out of different materials such as gold or ceramic (hence being sometimes referred to as ceramic fillings), which are all harder and stronger than any “direct” filling and will physically protect the tooth much better than a direct filling can. Ceramic inlays and onlays have the advantage being tooth coloured, so they can potentially restore a tooth to look like it never had a hole in it in the first place, while also making it nearly as strong.