As the name suggests, the primary role of restorative dentistry is to “bring back” the function (biting and chewing ability) of a tooth or teeth that have been damaged due to accident or disease as well as restore the look of the smile to a pleasing balanced appearance. Restorative dentistry normally occurs through the use of dental fillings, endodontics, inlays, onlays and dental crowns.
Inlays and onlays are used to repair decay or damage to the tooth’s natural surface. The differentiation between the two is based on “location”. Onlays restore the cusps (bumps on the chewing surface) of the tooth while inlays are used inside (in between) the cusps. Unlike regular fillings, inlays and onlays are manufactured in dental laboratories and are made of gold or ceramic material. Their distinct advantage over regular fillings is twofold: durability and better protection against recurring decay (better “fit”).