What are Inlays and Onlays?

Inlays and Onlays are custom dental restorations made in our dental lab from a direct impression of your tooth. This restoration is designed to fit perfectly into the damaged area and cemented in place within the tooth. This type of filling is applied only to molars and premolars. Inlays and onlays are conservative procedures designed to preserve as much of the health and integrity of the tooth as possible.

What is the difference between the two?

The only difference between the two is that an ONLAY will lay over the top of the tooth and protect 4 or more surfaces. The INLAY will lay in the tooth and is designed to protect up to  2 or 3 surfaces.

What’s the difference between a crown and an Onlay?

A crown is a ceramic cap made to fit over the whole tooth. It is needed when a tooth is almost or entirely damaged or has already had a previously large restoration that is failing and requires most of the tooth to be trimmed down and covered entirely.

When we use inlays or onlays, we remove the defective part of the tooth, leaving the remaining and healthy portion of the tooth structure intact. The resin onlay or inlay is then adhered to the existing tooth structure, which preserves the life and integrity of the tooth without needing to replace it with a crown.

What is the process involved in applying Inlays and Onlays?

If you have a filling that has been compromised and needs to be replaced, we will first anesthetize the area and remove the filling safely (following the Huggins Protocol as required for all metal fillings removed at American Bio Dental). Next, we will take impressions of your tooth, which will be sent to our on-site laboratory where one of our technicians will create your custom inlay or onlay. For the final step, we will then cement the custom-made filling into your tooth for a perfect fit.

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