Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are two types of restorations that our dentists can suggest if you have experienced mild to moderate amounts of decay.

An inlay is needed when damage to the tooth is contained within the tips of the tooth; while an onlay is needed if the damage extends over the tips and covers part of the tooth’s outside surface, but not so extensively as to require a crown. An onlay covers a larger area of the tooth and is better suited to bigger cavities. Tooth-coloured porcelain or gold can be used for inlays and onlays. However, porcelain, of course, gives the restored tooth a more natural look.

During your first appointment, our dentist will take an impression of your teeth and send these of to our dental laboratory to make your inlay/onlay. In the meantime, you will wear a temporary filling. When your inlay/onlay is ready, our dentist will glue it into place using a special adhesive.

Inlays and onlays are made of durable material that commonly lasts up to 20 years. 

Please also have a look at our composite bonding service.

Frequently asked questions:

What are Inlays and Onlays recommended for?

Recommended for larger cavities where a filling may not be suitable, an inlay or onlay is used to repair the tooth’s biting surface and is generally made from a porcelain or composite material which means they are very strong, natural looking and long-lasting.

How do inlays and onlays differ from each other?

  • Inlays – are needed when the tooth damage is contained within the tips of the tooth.
  • Onlays – are needed if the damage extends over the tips and covers part of the tooth’s outside surface, but not so extensively as to require a crown.

Are they a more suitable option that other restorations?

Dental inlays and onlays are used to repair rear teeth that have experienced mild to moderate amounts of decay. They are also used to restore teeth that are cracked or fractured if the damage is not severe enough to warrant a dental crown. Your dentist will advise which option will be the best for you.

How long do they last?

Inlays and onlays are made of durable composite or porcelain material that commonly lasts up to 20 years, much longer than the material in conventional metal filling.