Inlays & Onlays


Inlays

An inlay is used when there is not damage to any of the cusps of your tooth and is essentially placed within these cusps. An inlay restoration is a custom made filling made of composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain. It is made by a professional dental laboratory and is permanently cemented into the tooth by your dentist.

Inlays can be utilized to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma. Inlays are an ideal alternative to conventional silver and composite fillings. Also, they are more conservative than crowns because less tooth structure is removed in the preparation of inlays.

As with most dental restorations, inlays are not always permanent and may someday require replacement. They are highly durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.

Onlays

An onlay restoration is a custom made filling made of composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain. An onlay is sometimes also referred to as a partial crown. It is made by a professional dental laboratory and is permanently cemented onto the tooth by your dentist. An onlay is used when there is slightly more extensive damage to the tooth structure. This type of restoration is placed over at least one of the cusps on the tooth.

Onlays can also be utilized to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma. Onlays are an ideal alternative to crowns (caps) because less tooth structure is removed in the preparation of onlays. Onlays are essentially identical to inlays with the exception that one or more of the chewing cusps have also been affected and need to be included in the restoration.

Reasons for inlay or onlay restorations:

  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Cosmetic enhancement
  • Decayed teeth
  • Fractured fillings
  • Large fillings