Inlays & Onlays

When more than half of the tooth’s biting surface is damaged, we often restore the tooth with an inlay or onlay.

What are dental inlays and onlays?

Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain or composite resin. They are fabricated by a dental laboratory and then bonded to the damaged area of the tooth. An inlay, which is similar to a dental filling is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth. An onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, similar to the inlay but extending out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth.

How are inlays and onlays applied?

Inlays and onlays require two appointments to complete the procedure. During the first visit, the filling being replaced or the damaged or decaying area of the tooth is removed, and the tooth is prepared for the inlay or onlay. To ensure proper fit and bite, we take an impression of the tooth and send it to a lab for fabrication. We will then apply a temporary sealant on the tooth and schedule the next appointment.

At the second appointment, the temporary sealant is removed. We will then make sure that the inlay or onlay fits correctly. If the fit is satisfactory, the inlay or onlay will be bonded to the tooth with a strong resin and polished to a smooth finish.