Inlays and onlays are restorations which are used to rebuild a tooth that has lost a significant amount of its structure due to decay or trauma. Like crowns, they’re made by a technician in a dental laboratory and then cemented into place. Inlays fit into the tooth whereas onlays sit on top of the remaining tooth structure. Inlays and onlays can be constructed using porcelain, gold or composite.

The procedure

Two appointments will be necessary: the first to prepare the tooth surface, and the second to fit the inlay or onlay.

The first appointment

We’ll give you a local anaesthetic to numb your tooth and the surrounding tissue. Any decay will be removed and the tooth surface prepared for the restoration. We then take an impression of your teeth which is sent to our dental laboratory where our technicians will custom make the inlay or onlay. (We place a temporary restoration onto your prepared tooth to protect it whilst your inlay or onlay is being made.)

The second appointment

A local anaesthetic may be needed to numb the tooth and surrounding gum. The temporary restoration will be removed and the tooth cleaned. The dentist will then fit your new inlay or onlay, making sure the fit is perfect, your bite is comfortable and that you’re happy with the appearance before the inlay or onlay is permanently cemented in place.