Inlays, onlays and crowns are called indirect restorations because they are fabricated outside of the mouth, instead of being built in layers directly into the teeth.

The dentist takes impressions of the teeth, then shaping the restoration to match the part of the tooth it will replace which will be attacked with dental cement.

An indirect restoration is an inlay if it covers part of a tooth, without extending to a cusp (pointed tip of tooth). It is an onlay if it extends to replace a tooth’s cusp. And if it complete covers the top surface of the tooth, it is called a crown or cap.

Inlays, onlays and crowns are more effective than fillings in reinforcing teeth to withstand biting forces, and more resistant to further decay. If a tooth’s original structure is too compromised to support a filling, these indirect restorations can provide fantastic, long-lasting, beautiful results.

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