Dental Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are indirect, lab-made fillings that reinforce areas that need more than just a simple filling. Sometimes called “three-quarter crowns”, inlays and onlays protect a larger area of a tooth, but are more conservative than a full crown.
What is the Difference Between an Inlay and Onlay?
Although inlays and onlays are used interchangeably, they serve two different purposes. Inlays fill in larger areas across the chewing surfaces and inside of teeth when there is a thin layer of enamel left around the damage. Onlays repair the “cusps” or pointed edges of teeth when they are decayed or broken.
How They’re Made
The inlay and only process are similar to getting a crown made. They can be fabricated in a lab, or be milled on-site with our CEREC machine. First, your tooth is gently numbed and the damaged structures are prepped. Then we take an impression or scan of the tooth, which is used to fit the permanent restoration. At that point, we’ll mill your inlay/onlay at our office—a process that only takes about 15 minutes—and cement it into place.
Do I Need an Inlay or Onlay?
We recommend three-quarter crowns/indirect fillings when:
- 1/3 to 1/2 of your tooth structure is damaged
- You can avoid a full dental crown
- There is a large cavity that cannot be filled
- A large, older filling needs to be replaced
A Comfortable, Efficient Experience
Torrey Hills Dental provides a gentle care experience where you can feel relaxed from start to finish. Thanks to same-day CEREC technology, you can save time and enjoy a quality, attractive restoration that blends in with your smile.
Are inlays or onlays right for you? Do you need to replace an old, large silver filling? Reserve an exam with us today.