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Dental Onlay & Inlay

An inlay is an indirect restoration (filling) consisting of a solid substance (such as gold or porcelain) fitted to a cavity in a tooth and cemented into place. An onlay is the same as an inlay, except that it extends to replace a cusp. Respectively, crowns are onlays, which completely cover all surfaces of a tooth.

Benefits of dental inlays and onlays:
  • Increase the strength of a tooth with respect to fillings
  • Alternative to a crown when teeth damage is not extensive
  • Porcelain inlays / onlays do not change colour over time
  • Gives better aesthetic appearance compared to amalgam fillings
A person is holding a model of a tooth.

Types Of Inlays And Onlays

Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. Porcelain inlays mimic enamel’s translucency and colour, making them an attractive choice for most patients. Gold alloy inlays and onlays possess greater durability.

What Is The Difference Between An Inlay And An Onlay?

A dental inlay is typically smaller than an onlay. Inlays are used to fill in areas within the tooth’s cusps. A dental onlay is used to fill in a tooth when the damage includes the surface structure and one or more cusps.
A diagram showing the different stages of a tooth.
A tooth with an inlay and an olay.
A diagram showing the stages of tooth decay.

Why Porcelain Inlays/Onlays?

Porcelain inlays/onlays fit in your tooth to match the colour and keep your smile consistent and natural-looking. Porcelain is also durable and helps protect damaged teeth to prevent future dental work.

For more information or to book a check-up with one of our experienced dentists in Gold Coast or Brisbane, contact us today.