Inlays, onlays and crowns are called indirect restorations, because the restoration is fabricated outside of the mouth, instead of being built in layers directly into the teeth like a filling. The dentist takes impressions of the teeth, then the restoration is shaped to match the part of the tooth it will replace. The restoration 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 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.
A fixed bridge is a dental restoration to that is fixed to surrounding teeth. The bridge fills (bridges) the gap left by the missing teeth, preventing the surrounding teeth from moving into the gap and becoming misaligned.
A fixed bridge is a less invasive treatment than a dental implant. In cases where the surrounding teeth are strong enough to support the bridge, it is an excellent solution to maintain alignment and create a beautiful smile. Your dentist can craft a bridge that perfectly matches the color of the surrounding teeth, shaped to enhance your smile even more than the teeth it replaces.