Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and OnlaysAn inlay filling is a custom laboratory-made filling that is cemented onto the tooth, filling the space that is left from a cavity or the removal of an old filling. As such, it’s an indirect filling, different from traditional fillings that are soft and will set once they are placed in the mouth.

Inlays are most often made from tooth-colored porcelain but may also be made of composite materials or gold. When an inlay is required, the tooth will be prepared for restoration in a way that is similar to traditional methods. Tooth structure won’t need to be removed for this type of filling in the way that it would for other traditional fillings. An optical impression is then taken of the tooth using a digital 3D camera. This impression replaces the traditional impressions that are usually taken. From this optical impression, the inlay will be made at the dental lab. While the inlay is being crafted, a temporary filling will be used to protect the tooth. It will take two visits for the treatment to be completed. During the second visit, the inlay will be cemented into the tooth and any necessary adjustments will be made at that time.

Inlays can increase the strength of a tooth up to 75%, which greatly helps prevent future decay. They are very strong and can last up to thirty years. Inlays are also cosmetically pleasing as they are made to match the color of the tooth and don’t show within the tooth at all.

An onlay is another type of indirect filling that sits on the tooth and builds up to the necessary shape. A 3D optical impression of the tooth will be taken with a digital camera. The onlay is then made from porcelain blocks to fit the tooth perfectly. Once the onlay has been made, our Los Angeles dentist at Wilshire Dental Care will place it in the proper position within the mouth. This procedure, as with the placement of an inlay, will take two dental visits.

Patients are very pleased with the appearance, convenience and affordability of inlays and onlays. These indirect fillings provide protection for the teeth and also look very natural and attractive.


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