When over 1/2 of the tooth’s biting surface is damaged an inlay or onlay is recommended. Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. These pieces are bonded to the damaged area of the tooth. An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth; an onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, similar to the inlay but extending out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth.
Inlays and onlays require two appointments to complete the procedure
Traditional fillings can reduce the strength of a natural tooth by up to 50%. As an alternative inlays and onlays, being bonded directly onto the tooth using special high-strength resins, can actually increase the strength of a tooth by up to 75%. As a result, they can last for many years. In some cases, where the damage to the tooth is not extensive enough to merit an entire crown, onlays can provide a very good alternative.
PIT AND FISSURE SEALANTS
The top surfaces of your teeth – where the chewing takes place – aren’t smooth and flat. They are cris-crossed with tiny hills and valleys called pits and fissures. These are places where plaque can build up safe from your toothbrush and dental floss. Some of the pits and fissures are so narrow that even a single bristle from your toothbrush can’t get deep enough to clean them out.
One method of preventing cavities from developing in the pits and fissures is to seal them off with a special varnish called a pit and fissure sealant.
The whole procedure is quick and painless. The sealant right over the pits and fissures on the tooth surface. A special kind of light cures the sealant and makes ready for use.