Porcelain Inlays and onlays are dental restorations used to repair moderate to severe tooth damage when a filling is not enough, yet a crown would be too much. Porcelain inlays and onlays are custom-made in a lab and measure about three-quarters of a crown so they’re large enough to recreate the damaged tooth area, strengthening the entire tooth and restoring normal function.

Dentists typically recommend inlays to cover a fairly small damaged area of the biting surface of a molar. Onlays are much larger, extending over the biting surface and covering other parts of the tooth as well. Both restorations are cemented into place, which makes them permanent.

Benefits of porcelain inlays/onlays
● Inlays and onlays are custom-made to restore the damaged tooth to its natural shape, size, strength, long-term function, and aesthetics.
● They’re used instead of large fillings that tend to be unstable and often weaken the structure. As such, they improve the strength and function of a broken tooth that might otherwise have been lost.
● They’re used instead of crowns, which are less conservative and more expensive in their preparation. So inlays/onlays help to retain more natural tooth structure for a stronger restoration.
● Porcelain material has the same appearance as your natural tooth in color, which helps to preserve your natural smile

The procedure
inlay/onlay placement typically requires two appointments. During the first appointment, the dentist will prepare the damaged tooth area, take a molded impression of the tooth, and then send it to a lab where your custom restoration will be fabricated. The dentist will fit a temporary restoration – created during the visit – to protect the prepared tooth are before the permanent restoration is ready.

During the second appointment, the temporary restoration will be removed and your custom inlay/onlay permanently cemented in place. Any adjustments will be made to ensure a proper bite.

Who is the right candidate for dental inlays/onlays?
Inlays and onlays may be recommended as a conservative tooth repair option for tooth decay or other structural damage that would require a very large filling. To determine whether you’re a good candidate, please visit Precision Dental in Garden Grove, OC for a personal consultation.