The Process for Getting Same Day Inlays and Onlays

Two women hugging and smilingSame day inlays and onlays are the fast, easy way to get your badly damaged teeth restored. Unlike other major restorations, these inlays and onlays can be made and placed in just one dental visit. We can eliminate the wait and second visit and reduce your chair time by using same-day dental restorations.

The process is simple, and it begins much like any the process for other restoration. Our dentist will evaluate the broken or decayed tooth to ensure an inlay or onlay is the right choice. Next, he will prepare the tooth, which includes numbing it, removing any decayed tissue and reshaping it. Next, an impression will be made.

Unlike the typical impression, which uses a sticky compound that solidifies as it is in your mouth, we will use a digital impression. Our dentist uses a small, handheld wand to take a picture of the tooth, and the 3D image of your tooth and surrounding tissues are sent to the computer. We will use a special program to design your new inlay or onlay. This design is sent to the on-site milling unit to create your restoration. In the final step, we will bond the restoration to your tooth, providing you with a natural-feeling, beautiful-looking tooth.

Call our dental office today to learn more about same day restorations or to schedule an appointment with our cosmetic dentist.


Pros and Cons of Inlays and Onlays

Two women hugging and smilingAlso known as indirect fillings, inlays and onlays have restorative powers that direct fillings don’t always provide. Typically, they’re used on teeth that fall somewhere between too damaged for a traditional filling, and not damaged enough for a crown.

Inlays and onlays are versatile and responsive. But like every other aspect of dentistry, they have their pros and cons. Here is a short list:


Inlays and onlays can increase tooth strength by as much as 75 percent. Contrast that with metal fillings, which can actually decrease tooth strength by 50 percent.

These fillings are tough and durable, made from the hardest materials on earth. They also come in more color shadings than traditional fillings, so it’s easier to match tooth by tooth.

Obviously, inlays bond with the inner pieces of the teeth. Outlays solidify the outside by replacing any missing or compromised cusps.


Since this service is more personalized, you can expect to pay more. The curated nature of inlays and onlays, which are made in the lab, also means you have to schedule a second appointment after the initial consult and fitting.

Ask our dentist in Beverly Hills for more about inlays and onlays.

Are Inlays and Onlays Cosmetically Appealing?


Inlays and onlays are special restorations that can be used as conservative alternatives to dental crowns. They cover more of the tooth than dental fillings and are often used in teeth that have need amalgam fillings replaced. Our dentist might recommend an inlay or an onlay if you have a tooth that has a large cavity, filling, or area of damage but does not yet need a crown.

These restorations are typically made of dental porcelain. The porcelain is translucent like the enamel on your teeth is, and it reflects light similarly to your teeth. When we make an inlay or onlay, we make it in a shade to match your tooth for the most natural-looking restoration possible. Because it is made to fit the tooth precisely, there are no telltale borders or unsightly lines. These restorations are among the most cosmetically appealing restorations available.

An inlay or onlay is typically placed in two dental visits, much like a crown, and they last about as long as a dental crown when they are maintained as recommended. Contact our office today to find out more about your options for treating damaged or decayed teeth or to schedule your appointment with our dentist.

When Inlays and onlays are used


Dental inlays and onlays are dental restorations used as alternatives to full-coverage dental crowns. Also known as direct fillings, they are used to eliminate decay in the tooth or other similar damage that has been done and needs treatment.

Inlays and onlays differ from dental crowns in that they are made in the lab and later inserted into the tooth, whereas crowns are made as they are inserted in the problematic area(s). The name for each refers to the placement of the direct filling. Inlays are called such as they are for decay found in the center of the tooth, whereas onlays are used for damage on the cusps, or points of the tooth.

Many Agoura Hills dentists prefer restoring tooth decay with inlays and onlays, and many patients prefer them, as well. This is due to the fact that direct fillings are stronger, last longer, and fit better than normal crowns. Many also enjoy the fact that they look and function better, too.

You may choose, like many others in similar situations, to opt for a direct filling to repair and restore your tooth decay or other tooth damage as opposed to a typical full coverage dental crown, as the benefits are numerable.

How Inlays and Onlays are Placed

Inlays and onlays are restorations often used to repair teeth that cannot be fixed with a standard filling but do not warrant a crown. In fact, these restorations are also called indirect fillings. Compared to standard fillings, these restorations require less removal of tooth structure and can last far longer. Here is a look at how placement is performed for indirect fillings.

First Visit

As with conventional fillings, the first step before placement of indirect fillings is removal of damaged tooth structure. This is performed under local anesthesia using a dental drill. Next, bite impressions are taken for use in making the inlay or onlay out of composite resin, porcelain or gold. While gold may be used for rear restorations, porcelain or composite is preferred for restoring front teeth. To prevent tooth sensitivity between this appointment and the next, our dentist places a temporary restoration. Patients then wait days or weeks for their restoration to be made before returning to our office.

Second Visit

Once patients return to our office, our dentist removes the temporary inlay or onlay and cleans the area where the permanent restoration will be placed. To ensure that the restoration fits properly, our dentist checks the shape and size of it in the space. After an ideal fit has been confirmed, our dentist bonds the new restoration in place with dental cement. By polishing the restoration and surrounding tooth structure, our dentist ensures that appearance and comfort are optimal.

With good home dental hygiene and regular check-ups, patients can expect their inlays or onlays to last for up to 30 years. To minimize risks of damaging the restorations, patients should avoid chewing very hard foods. The amount of time these restorations last can also depend on the material chosen. Patients can schedule a consultation with our Agoura Hills cosmetic dentist to learn more about these restorations and how they are placed.

When are Inlays Used?

Friendly young woman with toothy smile outdoors portrait

Inlays are restorations that are used to repair decayed or otherwise damaged areas on the chewing surfaces of the molars. While they are smaller than onlays, inlays do not extend to the cusps of the teeth in which they are placed. Here is a look at when our dentist in San Fernando Valley may use this treatment.

Generally, inlays can be considered desirable when teeth have been damaged too extensively for conventional fillings, but there is too little to justify placing onlays or crowns. By choosing an inlay over a crown, patients can keep the existing outward tooth structure that is ideal in terms of comfort and appearance. Thanks to excellent durability, an inlay will reduce the likelihood that a replacement restoration will be necessary any time soon. The availability of porcelain inlays means that patients can confidently enjoy these advantages for molars near the front of the mouth.

Bite impressions are used to design inlays, which are created outside of the mouth and bonded into the teeth afterwards. Like porcelain crowns and veneers, tooth-colored inlays are resistant to stains, but they benefit from daily brushing and flossing. At a consultation with our expert in inlays in San Fernando Valley patients can learn more about this treatment and when it is used.

How Long Does It Take to Place Inlays or Onlays?

Happy couple

Tooth decay is one of the most common dental ailments, and if our cosmetic dentist in Los Angeles detects the presence of tooth decay in your mouth, it can be treated in a number of ways. Dental fillings are the most common way of treating decay, and it is most often used in instances of very mild decay. A root canal treatment may become necessary if the decay becomes too severe. But when a person has tooth decay that falls in between these two severities, it will most likely need to be treated with inlays and onlays.

Generally, it will take two visits to the dentist to place your inlay or onlay. Inlays are used to treat tooth decay that lies within the cusp of the tooth. Onlays are used to treat teeth that have experienced decay beyond the cusp. Inlays and onlays are designed specifically for you, so during the first appointment, impressions are taken of your teeth so that your restoration can be designed in a lab. During the second appointment, your restoration will be put into place.

Inlays and onlays are completely natural-looking, and as long as you take care of your teeth, you can expect them to last up to 30 years.