Inlays / Onlays
Inlays were used instead of “fillings” to replace a small amount of tooth structure loss due to decay, fitting inside the tooth. They can be made of 1) gold , 2) a tooth-colored ceramic/porcelain or 3) a tooth-colored special dental composite. The “fillings” can be replaced by tooth-colored inlays and bonded to the tooth to improve the esthetics and function. The bonding may actually improve the strength of the tooth and help seal the inlay to the tooth.
Onlays are partial coverage on the tooth, fitting inside the tooth and extending onto the chewing surface of tooth to reinforce or replace significant portion of broken/fracture tooth or decayed tooth. Like inlays, onlays can be made of gold, ceramics/porcelain, or special dental composite. Making the onlay of ceramic/porcelain allows the restoration to be bonded to the tooth.
A thorough evaluation is needed to determine the best course of treatment to determine whether inlays or onlays can be used instead of crowns (caps). Please contact Dr. Yum at (610) 770-0210 for an evaluation.