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Dental Inlays and Onlays

Man in dental chairAt Six Twelve Family Dental, our experienced and gentle team offers a broad range of solutions to provide for the dental needs of your entire family. Inlays and onlays are a restorative dental option to protect your oral health when a tooth is too damaged for a filling but doesn’t require a full crown.

Why Your Tooth Needs Treatment

If you have a tooth that is fractured, cracked, or moderately decayed, inlays or onlays may be the ideal solution. These indirect fillings are appropriate for teeth with a good deal of healthy structure left but too much damage to be covered by a dental filling. They are more conservative than crowns, requiring less tooth structure removal.

An inlay fits inside the cusp of a tooth, while an onlay covers one or more of the cusps, extending over the entire chewing surface. These restorations are made from durable materials such as ceramic or metal, providing a stronger and longer-lasting solution than traditional fillings.

Getting Ready for Your Procedure

If you have a broken tooth that is suitable for an inlay or onlay, our dentist will discuss this option with you during your consultation. If you decide to proceed, the procedure will be similar to getting a crown. The first step is to remove the decay or old filling from the tooth, then impressions will be taken. While your custom restoration is fabricated in the laboratory, you will be fitted with a temporary inlay or onlay.

dentist hands examining smile

What to Expect on Treatment Day

When you return for your second appointment, typically two weeks later, the custom-made inlay or onlay will be placed on your tooth. It’s a relatively quick procedure, as the dentist isolates the tooth to ensure the restoration is placed onto a very dry surface. You will be instructed to avoid chewing on the treated tooth for the first 24 hours to allow it to settle properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why would I choose an inlay or onlay instead of a crown?
In cases where adequate tooth structure remains, an inlay or onlay may be recommended as a more conservative option than a crown. This is because placing a crown requires more removal of tooth structure, while inlays and onlays allow for a more targeted approach to repairing the damaged area.

Will getting an inlay or onlay be painful?

No, the procedure is performed under local anaesthesia, just like most dental treatments. The experience will be very similar to getting a filling, and you should not feel any pain during the process.
How long do inlays and onlays last?
Inlays and onlays can last for many years if there is no leakage around the margins. The most common reason for replacement is the development of new decay between the tooth and the restoration.

What materials are used for inlays and onlays?

The most common materials used for inlays and onlays are ceramic and metal. Your dentist will discuss the most appropriate option for your specific case, taking into account factors such as the location of the tooth and your aesthetic preferences.

Restore Your Smile With Inlays and Onlays

If you have a damaged tooth that may benefit from an inlay or onlay, contact Six Twelve Family Dental today to schedule a consultation. Our experienced team will help you determine the best course of treatment to protect your oral health and restore your smile.

* Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.


Dental Inlays and Onlays Hurlstone Park, Dulwich Hill, Sydney, Ashbury NSW | (02) 9558 6656

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