Tooth Inlays and Onlays

By Caroline Eskow, DDS, MS

Tooth Inlays

An attractive alternative to fillings

Tooth inlays and onlays are sometimes used instead of fillings to replace a small amount of tooth structure loss due to decay. Like fillings, inlays and onlays fit inside the tooth. They can be made of gold or tooth-colored material such as ceramic/porcelain or composite resin. Defective or unsightly “fillings” can be replaced by tooth-colored inlays/onlays and then bonded to the tooth. This bonding process may actually improve the strength of the tooth and help seal the inlay to the tooth.

What to Expect

Typically 2 appointments - At the first appointment, an impression is made of the tooth or teeth, and a temporary crown/bridge is made which will protect the tooth until the next appointment. At the second appointment, the final crown/bridge is fitted to the tooth and cemented. For teeth in the smile line, sometimes a lab technician will be present in order to match the color of the adjacent teeth for a perfect match.

Consider Inlays or Onlays If You...

  • Have one or more missing teeth
  • Have a broken tooth or large filling
  • Want to replace a silver filling with something more esthetic

Want to learn more? We're very happy to arrange a consultation at any time to evaluate your specific needs.