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Inlays and onlays are restorations that fill teeth which have developed decay. They are used for large cavities; the inlays filling places between the cusps (points) of teeth and the onlays covering the cusps and sides. Learn a little more about inlays and onlays below.

How Inlays And Onlays Differ From Fillings And Crowns

Inlays and onlays are like a cross between dental fillings and crowns. They are used for cavities that are too big for fillings, but too small to need a crown. Inlays and onlays are created outside of the mouth, so they are made from stronger materials than fillings. They don’t require as much tooth removal as dental crowns do.

The Application Of Inlays And Onlays

Your dentist will apply an inlay or onlay to your tooth by:

  • Removing the decay
  • Cleaning and preparing the tooth
  • Making an impression with a dental putty
  • Sending the impression to a dental lab for the inlay/onlay creation
  • Testing the fit of the restoration and bonding it to the tooth

Inlays and onlays can last for 30 years if you care for them and your teeth properly by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist for six-month check-ups.