Inlays, onlays and crowns are called indirect restorations because the restoration is fabricated outside of the mouth. The dentist first takes impressions of the teeth, then the restoration is shaped to match the part of the tooth it will replace and is attached with dental cement.

An indirect restoration is an inlay if it covers part of a tooth without extending to a cusp (pointed tip tooth) while it’s an onlay if it extends to replace a tooth’s cusp. A crown or cap is when the restoration completely covers the top surface of the tooth.

Inlays, onlays and crowns are more effective than fillings at reinforcing teeth to withstand biting forces and more resistant to 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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