Dental Inlays and Onlays

Dental inlays and onlays repair a tooth when more than half of its biting surface is damaged. They are an alternative to traditional fillings and can strengthen the tooth by up to 75 percent, unlike conventional fillings, which may weaken the tooth by up to 50 percent.

Dental Inlays and Onlays in Bend , OR

Inlays and onlays are bonded directly onto the teeth using special high-strength resins that can actually increase the strength of a tooth by 75 percent. As a result, they can last ten to 30 years and in some cases, where the damage to the tooth is not extensive enough to merit an entire crown, onlays are a great alternative.

Graphic depicting a dental inlay and onlay procedure
  • What are inlays and onlays?

    Inlays and onlays are porcelain, gold, or composite resin dental pieces. These pieces are bonded to the damaged area of the tooth. An inlay, similar to a filling, is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth. An onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, like the inlay, extending over one or more of the tooth’s cusps.

    Traditionally, gold has been the material of choice for inlays and onlays. However, in recent years, porcelain has become increasingly popular due to its strength and color, which can match the natural color of your teeth.

  • How are dental inlays and onlays applied?

    Inlays and onlays are applied throughout two appointments. During the first visit, the filling is replaced, or the damaged or decaying area of the tooth is removed, and the tooth is prepared for the inlay or onlay. The dentist will take an impression of the tooth to determine if it is a proper fit and bite and send it to a lab for fabrication. Then, the dentist will apply a temporary sealant on the tooth and schedule the next appointment.

    The temporary sealant is removed at the second appointment, and the dentist will ensure that the inlay or onlay fits 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.

  • When should I consider a dental inlay or onlay?

    A dental inlay is utilized to fill grooves in the tooth, restoring or repairing a tooth after it has been damaged by injury or decay that affects the cusp of the tooth. Dental inlays are more durable than regular dental fillings made from composite or amalgam, and gold inlays are the most durable.

    A dental onlay repairs a tooth with more extensive damage affecting the cusp, tips, or biting surface. Onlays necessitate a temporary solution while the final onlay is sent to a laboratory to be correctly formed.

More Questions?

If you have more questions about dental inlays and onlys, or if you would like to schedule an appointment or contact our office and we will be happy to discuss further.

Drew Family Dentistry

2215 NW Shevlin Park Rd, Suite 110
Bend, OR 97703
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Monday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.




(541) 279-2356