Inlays and Onlays

When more than half of the tooth’s biting surface is damaged an inlay or onlay is a more conservative restoration than a crown.  

Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or a composite resin. These pieces are bonded to the prepared tooth. An inlay is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth, while an onlay is a more substantial restoration that extends over one or more of the cusps of the tooth.

Traditionally, gold has been the material of choice for inlays/onlays. In recent years, however, porcelain has become increasingly popular due to its strength and color which can match the natural color of your teeth.

Inlays and onlays require two appointments to complete the procedure. During the first visit, the filling being replaced or the damaged or decaying area of the tooth is removed and the tooth is prepared for the inlay or onlay. To ensure proper fit and bite, an impression of the tooth is made and sent to a lab for fabrication. A temporary this placed on the tooth and a subsequent appointment will be scheduled.

At the second appointment, the temporary is removed. The inlay or onlay is checked for fit and is bonded to the tooth. 

At Quad City Prosthodontic Specialists, we use inlays and onlays in appropriate situations to maintain as much of your natural tooth structure as possible.