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Dental Inlays and Onlays Fillings

Inlays and onlays are two types of restorations that in some respects resemble regular fillings. There are, however, a few important differences. First, inlays and onlays are typically used in cases where there is extensive tooth decay and a significant part of the tooth needs to be  replaced or rebuild. The location of the decay determines whether the restoration is an inlay or an onlay. Inlays are located inside (in between) the tooth's four cusps (corner protrusions); onlays actually rebuild or replace the cusps themselves. Second, fillings are done in one appointment, while inlays and onlays require two separate visits. During the first visit at Mer Bleue Dental Centre in Orleans the tooth is "prepared" (i.e. decay is removed) and an impression is taken. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory where the inlay or onlay is manufactured using gold or white ceramic material. During the second appointment the inlay or onlay is permanently cemented and the restoration is completed. Generally speaking, the two major advantages of inlays and onlays over regular fillings are their durability and their more precise "contact fit". Better fit tends to decrease the likelihood of recurring decay.