When are Inlays and Onlays Used?

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If you need your teeth repaired due to cracks and fractures, our dentist can help. Talk to our experts about the repair options available to improve your smile. Sometimes when the teeth are too damaged or decayed, fillings are just not enough to fix them. If you have sufficient healthy tooth remaining, you may opt for inlays and onlays. This procedure is used for mild to moderate forms of decay or cracks in the teeth.


This form of tooth repair allows our dentist to conserve more of the patient’s original tooth structure. This is also a great option when a crown is not appropriate to use. This alternative is made from tough materials that can last up to 30 years. They can help strengthen your original tooth up to 75 percent unlike metal fillings, which might actually reduce the strength of teeth. It can also help prolong the life of the tooth and prevent the need for more dental work down the road.


If you choose to get this procedure done, our dental experts will first remove any old fillings you might have during your first visit. They will take an impression of the teeth that need to be repaired, and send the impressions to a lab. The new inlay or onlay is made from a mold in porcelain, gold or composite material. During a second visit, our experts will cement them into place and then polish them to ensure a smooth and attractive finish.


Both visits to our office will take about an hour. The first appointment may take a little longer due to the preparation process. Once the procedure is completely done, there may be a little discomfort as the new tooth will feel a little odd. But soon you will get used to the new surface and how it feels and looks in your mouth. The tissue around the treated tooth or teeth may be a little sensitive or sore, but this will subside in a few days. You can take over-the-counter pain medication to alleviate and discomfort.


Long-term maintenance includes proper oral care. Make sure to brush and floss twice daily along with scheduling routine checkups with our experts. Maintaining good oral health will only ensure the longevity of your teeth and gums. Talk to our office about repairing any broken, fractured or decaying teeth you might have. We can discuss the different procedures available to you in order improve your smile.


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?

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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.