Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are ceramic fillings. Like other dental fillings, they restore teeth damaged by decay. However, these are stronger, more attractive, and more durable than other fillings.
Inlays are ceramic fillings that rest inside the raised parts of your larger teeth–the cusps–while onlays extend over one or more of the cusps. In the past, most people would choose regular composite–plastic and ceramic–fillings because they didn’t want to wait for a lab to manufacture the ceramic fillings. Now with CEREC technology you can choose to get inlays and onlays in one visit.
Composite fillings are good in many situations, but inlays and onlays are better in situations where you:
- Are replacing large metal fillings
- Might otherwise need a dental crown
- Want the most attractive fillings
- Want the most durable fillings
Composite fillings might not be up to the task if you are looking to replace large metal fillings. This can lead to pressure sensitivity or leave your teeth vulnerable to cracking.
Because inlays and onlays are so strong, there are some situations where we might be able to use them instead of a dental crown. This can preserve more of your irreplaceable natural tooth material.
Part of what is remarkable about CEREC inlays and onlays is how they combine beauty and strength. Just like CEREC single-visit crowns, these inlays and onlays can match your natural tooth appearance. The ceramic even has the same luster as natural tooth material.
Thanks to their strength, CEREC inlays and onlays are highly durable. They are capable of withstanding strong bite forces and lasting for decades without breaking or wearing away. And they maintain their attractive appearance. Composite fillings will stain and lose their luster, but CEREC inlays and onlays resist stains and maintain their shine, even if you stop in at Black Cup every morning for your daily coffee.
Dental bridges are a traditional tooth replacement. In the past, a dental bridge used dental crowns over supporting teeth–called abutment teeth–to support a replacement tooth, called a pontic. Now we typically use dental bridges to support multiple replacement teeth with dental implants. Hybrid implant dentures, for example, could be described as a dental bridge. CEREC can create a 3-unit bridge: two supporting crowns and a pontic. .
Because we often have to wait for dental implants to heal before placing final restorations, CEREC technology isn’t always useful for this application. However, it gives us time-saving options in some situations.