Inlays or Onlays

Inlays and onlays are used to restore areas of more extensive decay that are too large to be treated with a normal filling, and are usually placed in teeth at the back of the mouth. They provide an aesthetic repair as they are made from hard wearing materials such as porcelain or composite resin which replicate the look of natural teeth.

Inlays and onlays are created outside the mouth, unlike a filling, from an impression taken of the tooth. An inlay is cemented within the cavity and an onlay covers more of the tooth and extends over the top edges.

The Treatment Process

  • We remove any decay or damage, then clean and prepare the area to be filled.
  • We take an impression of the damaged tooth and use this to create an inlay or onlay that will match the exact shape of the biting surface to be treated.
  • To protect the prepared cavity while the inlay or onlay is being made, we will fit a temporary restoration.
  • When we are sure the specially made inlay or onlay will fit perfectly, we fix it to the tooth with a strong dental adhesive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Dental inlays and onlays are dental restorations that are used to repair damaged or decayed teeth. They are made of either porcelain or composite resin material and are designed to fit precisely into a tooth to restore its shape, strength, and function. Inlays are used to repair damage that is confined to the cusps of the tooth, while onlays are used to repair damage that extends to one or more of the tooth’s cusps.
Dental fillings are typically used to repair small areas of decay or damage in a tooth. In contrast, dental inlays and onlays are used to repair larger areas of damage and provide more support to the tooth.
Dental inlays and onlays are typically placed over the course of two appointments. During the first visit, the dentist will remove any decay or damage from the affected tooth and take an impression of the tooth. This impression is used to create a custom-made inlay or onlay in a dental laboratory. During the second appointment, your dentist will place the restoration and make any necessary adjustments to ensure a comfortable fit.
With proper care and maintenance, dental inlays and onlays can last for many years. The lifespan of your restoration will depend on factors such as the material used, the location of the restoration, and your oral hygiene habits.
To care for your dental inlay or onlay, it is important to brush and floss regularly and visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings. Avoid chewing on hard objects, such as ice or hard candy, and wear a mouthguard if you participate in sports or other activities that could cause dental trauma.
Dental inlays and onlays are a good option for people who have moderate tooth decay or damage but still have enough healthy tooth structure to support the restoration. They are not a good option for people who have extensive tooth decay or damage that requires a crown or other more extensive dental treatment.