Inlays and onlays, also commonly referred to as partial crowns, use the existing tooth as a base for a restoration (filling). A solid substance such as porcelain ceramic, gold, or a cured composite resin, is fitted to a cavity in the tooth and cemented in place to strengthen the tooth, restore its shape, and prevent further damage. Inlays and inlays are fitted to the tooth cavity and bonded in place. Onlays, used when the damage is more extensive to the tooth, are the same as inlays except that they also replace missing dental cusps, creating natural looking partial crowns.
Knoxville TN Dentist, Donnie Dean, has been utilizing the advanced CEREC method for years to quickly, easily, and affordably restore damaged teeth. The CEREC method uses a chairside CAD/CAM restorative procedure. A wand-like camera is used to take optical impressions of the tooth. Then the CEREC software takes the digital pictures and converts them into a 3D model of the tooth on the computer screen. A ceramic block that is carefully selected to match the existing tooth shade is then placed in the milling machine, which creates a perfectly fitting inlay or onlay to restore the tooth to its normal shape and strength. The tooth-colored restoration is then finished and ready to bond into place for a natural look and good form and function. [/one_half]