Dr Anthony Mobasser is an expert in dental Porcelain Inlays and Onlays, he has completed thousands of inlay and onlay restorations successfully which are still in his patients mouth for over 20 years. Dental inlays and onlays are indirect fillings used to recreate the tooth anatomy and function after the decay is removed from the tooth. They can be fabricated with porcelain, composite resin, or even gold. The purpose of inlays and onlays is to strengthen teeth or replace old or damaged fillings. One of the chief benefits of porcelain inlays and onlays is that they provide a highly strong, aesthetic, natural look, especially when compared to metal fillings. Another advantage is that they are extremely durable, capable of lasting decades.
Inlays are placed in damaged or decayed teeth, after complete decay removal, impression will be taken and sent to the ceramic laboratory to fabricate the inlay, in which will be placed inside the damaged tooth structure. It takes two visits to the dentist for proper inlay placement. During the first visit, the dentist takes detailed impressions of the affected tooth after removal of decay and places a temporary inlay on the tooth itself. The impression is then sent to a lab, where the inlay is fabricated to the tooth’s exact measurements, to provide beauty and strength.
At the second visit, the temporary inlay is replaced with the permanent porcelain inlay. Patients can return to work immediately after the procedure. Porcelain inlays, once in place, are bonded securely to the tooth and can greatly reduce the risk of bacteria forming on the tooth, causing cavities.
Unlike inlays, porcelain onlays are placed on the cusps of the damaged or broken tooth. Onlays are placed in a manner very similar to inlays, requiring two visits to the dentist’s office. They are also considered an indirect restoration since they are handcrafted in the dental laboratory. At the first visit, impressions are made of the teeth, which are then sent to a lab for fabrication, and a temporary onlay is placed on the tooth. During the second visit, the temporary onlay is replaced with the permanent one, using high-strength dental ceramics. The experience of the master ceramicist in fabricating the natural-looking inlays and onlays is as important as the cosmetic dentist who prepared them. Therefore, the communication between the cosmetic dentist and the master ceramist to create the masterpiece is of vital importance.
The Advantages of Inlays and Onlays
The porcelain-colored material used to fabricate both porcelain onlays and inlays make them ideal for creating a natural, aesthetically pleasing smile and bite. They also help patients avoid more invasive dental procedures in the future, namely dental crowns and bridges or implants. Other advantages of porcelain inlays and onlays, if done properly, are:
- Better contour to the affected tooth, resulting in a healthier gum.
- Less food impaction.
- Extremely durable, high-strength compared to white fillings.
- Outstanding color match and translucency mimicking the natural tooth.
- Less bacterial leakage due to superior fit.
- Less wear and tear on your bite compared to white fillings, in which there is severe wear and tear due to the forces of the bite.
In the hands of an expert cosmetic dentist, porcelain onlays can be combined with porcelain veneers to conserve the patient’s tooth structure and improve the bite. Porcelain inlays and onlays fit like a puzzle piece onto the tooth, bringing health, beauty, function, and durability to the damaged teeth.