Inlays and Onlays

What are dental inlays and onlays?

An inlay or onlay restoration is a custom made filling made of porcelain, gold, or lab processed composite resin. Porcelain inlays are popular because they resemble your natural tooth. A porcelain inlay is made by a professional dental laboratory and is permanently cemented into the tooth by your dentist.

inlay onlay overlay

Inlays & Onlays 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 because they are aesthetic, last longer and their bond restores strength to the tooth. Also, they are more conservative than crowns because less tooth structure is removed in the preparation of inlays & onlays.

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


Types of dental inlays and onlays

Dental inlays and onlays can be made of the following materials:

  • Composites (resins) include powdered glass-like material and acrylics. Composite inlays and onlays are more cosmetically pleasing than metal because they match the tooth’s color.
  • Metal, typically gold, but other metals may be used as well. Dentists may use metal inlays or onlays in back teeth, or molars, because of metal’s strength and durability. Today, gold is used less often than in the past because it is less cosmetically pleasing than other types of inlays and onlays.
  • Porcelain matches the tooth’s color.

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