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Cosmetic Dentistry
Porcelain Onlays and Inlays

Onlay and Inlay restorations are a custom made fillings made of special composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain. Porcelain Inlays and Onlays are popular because they resemble your natural tooth. An Onlay is sometimes also referred to as a partial crown. Porcelain Inlays and Onlays are made by a professional dental laboratory and is permanently cemented onto the tooth by your dentist.

Onlays and Inlays can 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.  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.

As with most dental restorations, onlays 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.

Reasons for onlay restorations:

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

What does getting an Inlay or Onlay involve?

An Inlay or Onlay procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking highly accurate impressions (molds) that will be used to create your custom Inlay or Onlay and a temporary restoration. A temporary filling will be applied to protect the tooth while your Inlay or Onlay is made by a dental laboratory.

At your second appointment, your new Inlay or Onlay will be carefully and precisely cemented into place.  A few adjustments may be necessary to ensure a proper fit and that your bite is comfortable.

You will receive care instruction at the conclusion of your treatment.  Good oral hygiene practices, a proper diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new Inlay or Onlay.