Unlike fillings or other restorative techniques that are done inside the mouth, inlays and onlays are created in a laboratory by a dental technician before being fitted to your tooth. If part of your tooth is broken or worn away, and cannot be repaired with a filling, you may be an ideal candidate for an inlay or an onlay.
Inlays ans onlays are generally only applied to molars and premolars – the teeth at the back of your mouth that you use for chewing – and often serve to replace some of the cusps and natural surface on the top of these teeth. Your dentist will discuss the procedure involved, and you will have impressions taken of your teeth so that the laboratory technicians can create your new inlays or onlays for fitting at your next appointment.
Crowns are sometimes also known as ‘dental caps’ or ‘tooth caps’, and sit over the top of your original tooth to provide protection against chewing and biting. Crowns are a popular solution for repairing teeth that have naturally weakened with age, or have been heavily filled in the past to the point where a better and more protective option is needed. They help to successfully restore the previous appearance and full function of a broken or weak tooth.
Crowns are made of hard-wearing and robust material, which not only provides excellent protection for a vulnerable tooth – or implant – underneath, but also means they typically last for at least 10-20 years, or even longer.