Inlays and Onlays

Inlays are those restorations which replace tooth structure within the cusps of the tooth, where an onlay is a more extensive restoration and extends over the biting surface of the tooth including the cusps.

A porcelain inlay or onlay may be prescribed when there is insufficient tooth structure remaining to support a ‘direct filling’ but enough sound tooth structure remaining not to warrant placement of a crown. Unlike standard fillings, inlays and onlays are a conservative means of strengthening and reinforcing a tooth.

You may hear inlays and onlays being referred to as indirect fillings. Unlike a normal filling that is placed directly into the cavity, inlays and onlays are fabricated by a dental ceramist in the laboratory and then cemented into your mouth at a subsequent appointment. Consequently two appointments are required for this treatment.