Inlays/Onlays & Ceramic fillings
These 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. The inlay or onlay 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 onlay have a 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 and also make it nearly as strong.