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Inlays & Onlays

Inlays are similar to fillings but the entire work lies within the cusps (bumps) on the chewing surface of the tooth. Onlays are more extensive than inlays, covering one or more cusps. Onlays are sometimes called partial crowns.

Benefits of Dental Inlays and Onlays:

  • Increase the strength of a tooth with respect to fillings
  • Alternative to an crown when teeth damage is not extensive
  • Porcelain inlays/onlays does not change color over time
  • Gives better esthetic appearance compared amalgam fillings

Types of Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. Porcelain inlays mimic enamel's translucency and color, making them attractive choices for patients. Gold alloy inlays and onlays possess greater durability.

The porcelain inlays and onlays used at our dental clinic include the IPS Empress II and IPS Empress Esthetics from Ivoclar Vivadent.                                        

Procedure for Dental Inlays and Onlays Treatment

The course of treatment described here is one of several options available at our dental clinic. Consult your dentist to find out what the best solution is for you, given your specific condition.

  1. First evaluation and inlays/onlays tooth preparation
    • The natural tooth is reshaped to receive the new inlay/ onlay
    • Records are taken to determine the color, ength and shape of the inlay/onlay
    • An impression of the teeth is taken for a replica model of teeth
    • This model is sent to a lab where the inlay and onlay piece is fabricated
    • The preparation site is temprorarily covered
  2. Fitting of the inlay/onlay on delivery
    • The temporary filling is removed
    • The inlay/onlay is fitted and cemented into place on the teeth
    • A quality assurance check is done for any re-adjustments or re-works of the inlay/onlay dental crowns
  3. Care of inlay/onlay
    • Brush and floss your teeth as recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist

Recovery Expectations

Having inlays or onlays is similar to having fillings done but inlays and onlays tends to be better strength and durability than fillings. There should be little or no sensitivity in teeth.

Care for Dental Inlays and Onlays

Simply follow good oral hygiene practices:

  • Brush at least twice a day. It is good practice to brush after eating and before bedtime.
  • Floss at least once to twice a day.
  • Rinse with fluoride rinse before bed. Swish the fluoride rinse vigorously in your mouth for at least one minute. Do not swallow any of the rinse and do not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes
  • Be careful about chewing toffees, gum, grainy rolls and tough food in this area
  • See your dentist for regular professional check-ups and cleaning


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