Inlay and Onlays

Inlays and onlays can be thought of as the solution to tooth decay that sits right between a filling and a crown. Fillings are used when a small cavity is found in a tooth that can be remedied by filling the damaged area with a hard, tooth-colored plastic.

This plastic does wear down over time, however, and if the cavity is too large, a filling may not be a good enough solution. When this is the case, an inlay may be the right approach.


Much like a veneer or crown, an inlay first requires an impression of the affected tooth to be taken. This impression is then sent to a lab so the inlay will fit perfectly where the newly removed cavity was. This inlay is then affixed to the area and cemented in place.


If the decay is not contained solely to the middle of the tooth, but comes up on the cusps of the tooth, then an onlay may be considered. An onlay is much the same concept as an inlay, only slightly larger, and may cover the top of the tooth, but not the entirety of it like a crown would.

Dr. Maddahi’s dental office uses all porcelain inlays and onlays, because porcelain does not wear down over time, has no negative side effects like metals do, and has the extra benefit of being aesthetically pleasing. Porcelain inlays and onlays are also much stronger than tooth colored fillings, and can withstand much more pressure.

Dr. Maddahi’s dental practice also employs the revolutionary CEREC machine, which allows his staff to create porcelain inlays and onlays on the same day as a patient’s first visit right in his office. This technology makes it possible to provide patients with long-term solutions to larger cavities that are both painless and beautiful in just hours. To learn more about inlays and onlays, please call our office today.

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