Inlays / Onlay

When over half of the tooths biting surface is damaged a dentist will often restore the tooth with an inlay or onlay.

What are inlays and onlays?
Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. tey replace tooth structure that is missing due to decay or fracture. An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth; an onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, similar to the inlay but extending out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth.

Traditionally, gold has been the material of choice for inlays and onlays. In recent years, however, porcelain has become increasingly popular due to its strength and color, which can potentially match the natural color of your teeth.


Traditional fillings can reduce the strength of a natural tooth by up to 50%. As an alternative, inlays and onlays, being bonded directly onto the tooth using special high-strength resins, can actually increase the strength of a tooth by up to 75%. As a result, this restorations can last from 10 to 30 years. In some cases, where the damage to the tooth is not extensive enough to merit an entire crown, onlays can provide an excellent alternative.

How are they applied?
Inlays and onlays require two appointments to complete the procedure. During the first visit, the tooth is prepared and an impression is taken and sent to the lab for fabrication of the inlay or onlay. Dr. Swedberg will then apply a temporary inlay or onlay on the tooth and schedule the next appointment.

At the second appointment, the temporary is removed. and the inlay or onlay is bonded to the tooth.