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Ceramic Inlays and onlays


What are they?
These are natural coloured fillings that are usually preferred for aesthetic reasons. They are made from a tough, ceramic material resembling the natural colour of the teeth.

What are Ceramic Inlays?
Ceramic dental inlays are indirect restoration or filling consisting of ceramic that are used for the treatment of decayed or damaged teeth. These are fitted to a cavity in a tooth and then cementing into place.

Placement Procedure
The Ceramic Inlay placement usually requires a couple of dental appointments. The dentist will at first take an impression of the patient’s tooth. Then, a temporary inlay will be placed over the tooth. This dental impression is sent to a dental clinic to create an inlay matching the tooth’s specifications.

On the next visit, the dentist will remove the temporary inlay and then place the permanent one over the tooth. The ceramic inlays are bonded securely to the tooth’s surface. This provides structural integrity to the teeth and also prevents bacteria from forming cavities.

What are Ceramic Onlays?
Ceramic Onlays are similar to Ceramic Inlays but they usually are placed as a replacement for the tooth’s cusp or top projection and cover the area where the missing cusp would be. They are designed to treat the decay within the teeth’s cusps.
Placement Procedure
The procedure is similar to Inlay placement; the dentist takes an impression of the decayed tooth. And a temporary Onlay is placed over the tooth. The impression is then sent to a dental lab to manufacture the onlay depending on the tooth’s specifications.

On the next visit, the dentist will remove the temporary onlay and place the permanent onlay on the tooth. These onlays are then securely bonded using high-strength resins.

Onlays helps to conserve more tooth structure as minimal removal of the tooth’s surface is require for its placement. As it is manufactured from natural tooth-coloured material, it is undetectable by the naked eye.

Advantages of using Ceramic Inlays and Onlays
Both the ceramic inlays and onlays are beneficial in a lot of ways. Some of them are:

  • They help to remove tooth sensitivity and eventual tooth loss.
  • Being manufactured from natural tooth-coloured material, they are not visible by the naked eye.
  • They do not expand or contract due to the temperature changes caused by hot or cold foods, unlike metal fillings. This changing in size is what causes the teeth to weaken or fracture.
  • The use of Inlays and Onlay helps the dentist to conserve most of the patient’s natural tooth structure during the treatment. Unlike the use of metal fillings that requires tooth reduction.
  • The manufacturing process of the Inlays and Onlays help strengthen the teeth by nearly 75%.
  • The durable materials used to manufacture them allow them to be durable and longer lasting than conventional fillings.
  • They also help in providing the patient a healthier and a more natural smile.

Authored by DR.NIRANJAN P

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