Restore Decayed Teeth With Inlays and Onlays

Protect your teeth from further decay and improve the appearance of your smile with inlays or onlays. Inlays and onlays are excellent alternatives to dental fillings and crowns. Your dentist in Holland, OH, may recommend either of them when damage to the teeth is too large for fillings but not extensive enough to require replacement crowns. They also serve as good replacements for old fillings.

When to Get Inlays or Onlays

Both inlays and onlays are dental solutions that restore chipped or decayed teeth as well as improve function. They strengthen and preserve more of the tooth structure since less drilling is required compared to getting fillings or dental crowns.


An inlay is the next best solution where dental fillings cannot work to repair a chipped or decayed tooth. It is more durable than fillings and is ideal for covering a small gap that forms in between the cusp (pointed or rounded edges of the tooth surface). The inlay is fabricated in the lab, typically from tooth-colored materials such as composite resin, ceramic, or porcelain. It is customized to match the precise shape and size of the space of tooth in need of restoration. The dentist will fit the inlay into the cavity then securely bond and seal it into place to prevent bacteria from entering.


An onlay, also called a partial crown, is used when the damaged portion of the tooth is too large to cover with a filling or inlay. Unlike inlays, onlays are designed to cover the entire cusp of the tooth and work more effectively to prevent a cavity from getting worse. This makes it an ideal solution for repairing the chewing surfaces of premolars and molars (back teeth). Onlays are made from similar material as inlays and are fitted using pretty much the same procedure.

Procedure for Placing Inlays/Onlays in Holland, OH

The procedure for inlays and onlays usually requires two visits to your dentist’s office. At your first visit, the dentist will perform a detailed oral exam and prepare your tooth to receive the restorative treatment. Impressions or molds are also taken of the cavity or space in need of filling. These are sent to the lab to custom fabricate the inlay or onlay.

The dentist will fill the tooth using temporary filling made from composite resin. The filling is removed at your second visit and the inlay or onlay is fitted in place. A bonding substance, such as dental resin, is then placed on the tooth and polished to a smooth finish.

Mild soreness or tenderness at the gumline is common but there is no downtime after the procedure. In fact, you can return to your daily routines straight out of the dentist’s chair.

Visit Light Touch Dental Care

Cavities grow bigger over time and will require more extensive and costly treatments such as crowns, dental bridges, or implants. You can prevent this and save money with inlays/onlays from Light Touch Dental Care, our family dentistry in Holland, Ohio. We also offer a range of other dental solutions to enhance your oral health and smile. Call 419-866-4271 to schedule a consultation today.


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