Dental Onlays and Inlays: Your Teeth, but Stronger

When a tooth is damaged just beyond what a filling can fix, we like to avoid removing more tooth structure than needed to make room for a crown. This is where inlays and onlays come in. They provide us with a middle ground between fillings and crowns to treat only the affected area of the tooth.

Inlays vs. onlays

Inlays and onlays are the same kind of restoration, but they cover different amounts of the tooth. An inlay is similar to a filling, in that it fits inside the cusps, or bumps, of your tooth. An onlay covers more surface area, wrapping over at least one of your cusps, and sometimes covering the entire biting surface of the tooth. Inlays and onlays can be custom-made in ceramic, so they are virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth in both shape and colour.

Procedure and care

You’ll need two visits to get inlays or onlays placed. At your first appointment, we’ll remove the decay from your tooth, take impressions of it and fit you with a temporary filling. When you come back, this will be removed, and your inlay or onlay will be bonded in place.

As with any of our restorations, the best way to maintain them is by practicing excellent oral hygiene. That means brushing, flossing, and regular check-ups and cleanings.