Restoring your teeth to their original pristine state is the job of restorative dentistry. This collection of procedures rebuilds teeth that have been damaged through injury or decay, and can also be employed cosmetically, to improve your teeth’s appearance, shape, colour, or alignment. Done right, restorative dentistry offers both function and form.
Your modern dental practice fills cavities with white filings, in place of the silver amalgam ones, which interfered with the natural look of your teeth. Similarly, composite resin or porcelain inlays support the tooth, as well as provide the requisite structural support. Matched perfectly to the colour of your original teeth, these solutions provide both functional and aesthetically pleasing solutions to dental problems. They also bring the advantage of being finished in only one sitting.
An inlay replaces tooth structure within the cusps of the tooth, while an onlay is more of an extensive restoration – in some cases, serving to hold the tooth together. They are not as invasive as a crown, and provide an exceptionally strong surface and interior support. They require moulding and fabrication by a dental ceramist, and are then bonded to your tooth in a separate appointment. A temporary patch is provided over the tooth, in order to avoid any discomfort while your onlay is created.
For an onlay, you will undergo two separate appointments, involving:
Tooth preparation, impression of the tooth, and fabrication and insertion of a temporary restoration.
Removal of patch, insertion of final inlay/onlay, and bond to tooth.
These advanced procedures are able to preserve the look and feel of your natural teeth, and can resurrect teeth damaged from decay or injury.