Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are two excellent methods for restoring the appearance and function of a decayed or damaged tooth when a full crown is unnecessary. In most cases, inlays and onlays are designed to repair damage that is too severe to be corrected by a filling, while also providing an end result that is stronger and more durable. Our oral care experts are pleased to offer inlays and onlays that leave teeth looking completely natural and functioning flawlessly.

Unlike a filling, inlays and onlays are custom-fit using impressions that are taken of the patient’s teeth. Typically, inlays and onlays require two in-person visits, in which impressions of the teeth are taken during the first visit, and the custom inlay or onlay is permanently applied to the tooth during the second visit.


Inlays are conducted when the filling material is bonded to the interior of the tooth and covers some or all of the area within the cusps, or points, of the tooth. An inlay will not cover any of the tooth’s cusps, only the area inside the cusps. Inlays are commonly performed on patients with damage that is too extensive to be repaired by a standard filling, but not so extensive that it requires a full crown. Thanks to the custom fit of inlays, the procedure typically leaves teeth stronger and more durable than teeth that have been treated with standard fillings.


Onlays are conducted when the damage to the tooth is more extensive and the restoration must cover at least one of the cusps, or points, of the tooth. In some cases, an onlay might cover the tooth’s entire chewing surface. When applying an onlay, the filling material is most commonly fixed to one or more of the tooth’s cusps. Onlays are a great option when the damage to the tooth is not so extensive that a full crown is necessary, but the restoration of both the appearance and function of the tooth is still needed.

If you want to learn more about inlays and onlays, please contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our oral care experts. You may call our office at (770) 824-8916 to arrange an appointment.

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