Inlays & Onlays

What Are Inlays and Onlays?

If your tooth’s surface is damaged, inlays and onlays are two different ways your dentist might repair it. Inlays are similar to fillings, in that they’re usually made of porcelain, resin, or gold and fill the gaps in the surface of the tooth, creating a new surface that’s sturdy and safe to use.

An onlay is similar to an inlay but a little more substantive, extending over the cusp of the tooth for more complete coverage. Inlays and onlays usually take two appointments to complete.

Procedure for Inlays and Onlays

  1. During your first visit, the damaged area of the tooth is removed.
  2. An impression is made of the tooth so that a custom filling can be created.
  3. The dentist then applies a temporary sealant to the tooth, and your next appointment will be scheduled.
  4. During your second appointment, the temporary sealant is removed.
  5. Your dentist will fit the inlay or onlay to your tooth. Once the proper fit is guaranteed, the inlay or onlay will be permanently bonded to the tooth’s surface.

Things to Consider

Inlays and onlays are one possible alternative to crowns when the damage to the tooth is not extensive. They can also be used instead of fillings in many cases. The nature of a filling causes the tooth’s strength to be reduced, but inlays and onlays can actually strengthen the tooth by up to 75%. They can also last from 10 to 30 years, making them a great long-term option. If you would like to see if inlays and onlays are the best option for you, book an appointment with our office today.