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Tooth-colored fillings have been a popular choice for cavity repair, but there are cases where more extensive dental work is needed. In such situations, inlays and onlays can be recommended as an enhanced alternative to traditional fillings.

Inlays and onlays, also known as partial crowns, are custom-made restorations that cover a portion of the tooth. They are precisely designed to fit the prepared area and are bonded in place, resulting in a strong and long-lasting restoration.

Unlike regular fillings, inlays and onlays require two appointments as they are fabricated in a dental laboratory. During the first visit, the damaged or decayed portion of the tooth is removed, and an impression is taken. This impression is sent to the dental lab where the restoration is crafted to fit the tooth perfectly. In the second appointment, the inlay or onlay is bonded to the tooth using a strong dental adhesive.

One significant advantage of inlays and onlays is that they are made of tooth-colored materials, typically porcelain or composite resin. This makes them an excellent choice for restoring teeth in visible areas, as they seamlessly blend with the natural tooth color and are virtually indistinguishable.

Another benefit is that inlays and onlays provide more extensive coverage than traditional fillings, which strengthens the tooth and offers better protection against future damage or decay. They can also replace older deteriorating fillings, providing a more substantial and longer-lasting restoration.

Beyond their cosmetic and functional advantages, tooth-colored inlays and onlays are highly biocompatible, meaning they are unlikely to cause allergies or adverse effects. They are also durable and long-lasting, with an average lifespan of up to 20 years or more when properly cared for.

In conclusion, tooth-colored inlays and onlays are a significant improvement over traditional fillings, offering superior coverage, strength, and durability while maintaining a natural and seamless appearance.

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