Dental inlays and onlay are corrective procedures that are used to correct tooth decay and damage that doesn’t require using a crown. Inlays are procedures to treat decay with a filling which can be made from gold, composite resin, or porcelain. For the most natural appearance, patients usually select a porcelain or natural colored resin.
Onlays are used when tooth loss from decay or damage is extensive but not bad enough to require a crown. This procedure is sometimes referred to as applying a partial crown and is used to add strength to a weakened tooth. This is a conservative approach to restoring your tooth. As with a crown, the onlay is made in a dental laboratory from an impression made in the office. Until the onlay is ready, the tooth is protected by a temporary filling applied in the dentist’s office. When the onlay is returned from the laboratory, the temporary filling is removed, and the onlay is cemented into place.