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What are Onlays and Inlays?

Illustration displaying how onlay and inlay restorations.Both an onlay and inlay are restorations that can be used to improve the look and functionality of a tooth. Inlays fit more on the insides of the cusps of a tooth and can be used to replace fillings and decay. Onlays fit over the very top of the tooth and are smaller in size than a full crown. They’re ideal for areas of a tooth that have cracked or broken, or for teeth that have large fillings.

Why are Onlays and Inlays needed?

You may want this restorative option to replace a larger filling. Inlays and onlays are made similarly as a dental crown. They can last for decades with proper care and are made to mimic the feel and look of your natural teeth. They can be used to smooth a jagged or broken tooth as well as fill in areas of decay.

What makes you a good candidate for Onlays and Inlays?

We will perform an exam before the inlay or onlay is made for you. While most people will benefit from this restorative option, there are some exceptions and other treatments may be needed. You may be a good candidate for inlays and onlays if you want a more long-term alternative to fillings. They are fitted to be comfortable and realistic-looking for virtually every smile.

How are Inlays made?

The tooth will be slightly filed down and buffed to make room for the new restoration. If decay is present, it will be completely removed before the inlay or onlay is placed. Impressions are then taken and will be utilized to create the new restoration. You will come in for a second appointment to have the inlay or onlay placed permanently. The restoration may need to be adjusted slightly so that it fits comfortably. You can expect your onlay or inlay to last for years or even decades before needing complete replacement.

If you would like to learn more about the inlay and onlay process, call us today and we will answer any and all of your questions.


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