Nothing is stronger than natural enamel, but when a tooth becomes decayed or damaged, it still needs to be repaired. When doing so, Dr. Gasper tries to preserve as much enamel as possible, and inlays and onlays make this task relatively simple. Sometimes referred to as partial crowns, these restorations only cover the part of the tooth that needs to be reinforced, leaving the rest of the enamel untouched and firmly in place.
Inlays are designed to fit in the middle of a tooth similar to a filling, but instead of being made of a liquid substance that hardens into place, inlays are solid porcelain. They can easily be color-matched to a patient’s smile to help them blend in and can be used to repair a cavity or strengthen a tooth that has become cracked or weakened. The procedure to get one only takes a single appointment.
The top of your teeth, or the chewing surfaces, are actually called “cusps,” and onlays allow Dr. Gasper to repair them. They literally fit over the top of a tooth to cover any damaged structure and are able to bring back a tooth’s appearance and functionality at the same time. When placing an onlay, a tooth doesn’t need to be reshaped like it would with a full crown, keeping it more intact, which helps maintain the natural strength of the tooth.