We use dental inlays and overlays to repair teeth with moderate to severe decay, or cracked and fractured teeth. They are ideal if there’s too much damage or decay in the tooth structure to allow successful treatment with a white filling. As with all minimally invasive dentistry, inlays and overlays allow us to conserve more of the patient’s original tooth structure.
Dental inlays and overlays are used when old fillings need to be removed or replaced. A dental inlay is similar to a filling and fits inside the cusp tips (top edges) of the tooth. A dental overlay, or onlay, is more extensive and reaches over the cusps of the treated tooth.
Advantages of bonded porcelain over metal fillings include:
- Inlays and overlays are durable. They are made from tough, durable materials that last up to 30 years.
- They help to strengthen teeth by up to 75%. In contrast, traditional metal fillings can actually reduce the strength of the teeth by up to 50%.
- Inlays and overlays prolong tooth life and prevent the need for more dental treatment in the future.
Inlays and overlays are performed using very similar procedures that will normally need two appointments. However, at HBDS, we use the latest digital CAD-CAM technology and are able to restore your tooth in one day.
First, we numb the area to be treated with local anesthetic, then we drill to remove any decay or damage. In many practices, dentists take a mould and send it away to the dental laboratory where the inlay or overlay is created. They fit a temporary restoration for protection until your next appointment. Our technology allows us to do this in-house so we can do the whole procedure in one sitting.
We check the fit of the inlay or overlay before bonding it onto the tooth with a strong resin adhesive. We then finish off with a polish to ensure a smooth and aesthetically pleasing look.
You’ll probably experience a little discomfort after the procedure, and the new tooth surface may feel a little odd at first. The tissue around the treated tooth may also feel sore or sensitive, but this should subside in a couple of days. It’s fine to take over-the-counter pain medication to alleviate the symptoms.