Intro to Inlays and Onlays

If you have a cavity or lose a tooth that is too large to be repaired with a filling, your dentist may choose to go with an inlay or onlay. These are restorations created in a lab to be fitted in much the same way you would fit a crown. Inlays or onlays can either be cemented or bonded onto the tooth.

There are three materials that can be used to make inlays and onlays:

  • Gold
  • Porcelain
  • Composite Resin

Since these materials are much stronger than a filling, inlays and onlays are considered cosmetic alternatives to fillings. The porcelain and composite resin are the most popular today, since many people don’t like the color of the gold.

Inlays and onlays are mostly used to replace fillings in the larger back teeth, but there may be other times they are used. Your dentist will explain when and why inlays and onlays are a good pick for your situation.