Dental Clinic Tunbridge Wells


Cerec Inlays & Onlays

The cerec inlay and onlay restoration is a custom made filling made of tooth-coloured porcelain. The Inlay is a ceramic filling used when all the cusps (points on a tooth) still remain but the tooth is weakened through the middle. An Onlay is the same but one or more of the chewing cusps needs to be replaced. An onlay is sometimes also referred to as a partial crown. It is made in the surgery using the Cerec machine and is permanently cemented onto the tooth by your dentist.

I sometimes describe the procedure like the difference between a builder filling a damaged wall with cement and a stone mason lovingly repairing a stone building but carefully cutting out the damaged surface and making and bonding a piece of carefully matched stonework.

Inlays & Onlays are used to conservatively repair teeth that have larger defective fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma. Onlays are an ideal alternative to crowns (caps) because far less tooth structure is removed in the preparation. This reduces the chance of the “nerve” dying as far less fresh dentine (inner tooth) is exposed.

As with all dental restorations, inlays & onlays will eventually require replacement. However long-term studies show that they are some of the most durable restorations we can give our patients with around 85% lasting 18 years+

Indications for Cerec onlay restorations:

What does getting a Cerec Inlay or Onlay involve?

The Inlay &  Onlay procedure usually requires only one appointment. While the tooth is numb, the dentist will remove any decay and/or old filling materials. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared, shaping the surface to properly fit an onlay restoration. An optical picture will be taken and the onlay designed by the dentist using the Cerec software. The finished virtual image will be sent to the Cerec milling machine and the new onlay made in about 10 minutes! The restoration is carefully trimmed and polished and may be tinted and glazed and then precisely bonded into place. A few adjustments may be necessary to ensure a proper fit and that your bite is comfortable.

You will receive care instruction at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, a proper diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new onlay.