Inlays, onlays and overlays
Onlays Inlays or Overlays are more or less the same thing - a restoration done indirectly (often in a dental lab) with the purpose of restoring the missing part of the tooth. It is the ideal option for larger cavities as it overcomes the limitations that direct fillings present. The materials we currently use are ceramic or composite. In the past the only materials we had for inlays were metals, such as gold. These still have advantages, however tooth colored inlays not only look very natural but are more in accordance to the biomimetic principles. In order to deliver them to the patients, the dentist has to follow a very rigorous protocol with absolute isolation.
Onlays are my preferred restoration for large cavities and for teeth which just had root canal therapy, to ensure they won't fracture. We don't need crowns anymore!
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