Inlays & Onlays

At Driftwood Dental, your inlay or onlay can be completed in as little as one appointment. Inlays and onlays are custom-made fillings that our team can apply to decayed or damaged teeth.


What are inlays and onlays?

When more than half of the tooth’s biting surface is damaged, your dentist will often use an inlay or an onlay. Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin.

Using E4D technology, we can make your inlays in a single appointment. These pieces are bonded to the damaged area of the tooth.

An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth. An onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, similar to the inlay but extending out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth.

How are inlays and onlays applied?

This procedure requires two appointments.

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.  An impression of the tooth is made and sent to a lab for fabrication and a temporary sealant is applied to the tooth.

At the second appointment, the temporary sealant is removed and the inlay or onlay is fitted correctly. If the fit is satisfactory, the inlay or onlay will be bonded to the tooth with a strong resin and polished to a smooth finish.

Considerations for inlays and onlays

Traditional fillings can reduce the strength of a natural tooth by up to 50 percent.

As an alternative, inlays and onlays, which are bonded directly onto the tooth using special high-strength resins, can actually increase the strength of a tooth by up to 75 percent.

As a result, they can last from 10 to 30 years.

In some cases, where the damage to the tooth is not extensive enough to merit an entire crown, onlays can provide a very good alternative.


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