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Inlays and Onlays
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Inlays and Onlays
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Dental inlays and dental onlays are restorations used to repair rear teeth with mild to moderate decay, or cracked and fractured teeth that are not sufficiently damaged to need a crown.

Length of Surgery

Each of the two appointments takes approximately one hour




Local anesthesia

Back to work in...

1 day

Treatment Frequency

Replacement is needed after 10-30 years


Allergic reaction to the anesthesia or to the materials used in the inlays or onlays


Gold inlays cost $600 - $950, porcelain inlays or onlays are $650 - $1,200, composite resin is more expensive

Duration of results

10 – 30 years

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Click links below for detail.

Cost of Inlays and Onlays*

The cost of inlays and onlays varies. Gold inlays cost $600 - $950, porcelain inlays or onlays are $650 - $1,200, composite resin inlays or onlays are more expensive. Fees generally vary according to region of country and patient needs. These fees are averages only. Fees do not include anesthesia, dental clinic facilities or other related expenses. Please make sure that you ask your dentist for all fees relating to your procedure or treatment.

Most dental clinics offer flexible financing and payment options, some of which allow staggered payments or loans from VARIOUS FINANCING COMPANIES.

If you are considering having inlays or onlays, but want to explore more about the financing options available before you make your decision, PLEASE CLICK HERE. You can discuss your financial options with your dentist, and find out if there are any loans of flexi-payment plans that will allow you to achieve the smile you desire.

Am I a candidate for Inlays and Onlays?

If your teeth are decayed or damaged, but not so damaged as to require extraction or a crown, you may be a good candidate for inlays and onlays.

Inlays and Onlays Definition

Dental inlays and dental onlays are restorations used to repair rear teeth with mild to moderate decay, or cracked and fractured teeth that are not sufficiently damaged to need a crown. They can be used to replace unsightly metal fillings. Inlays and onlays can be made from porcelain, composite resin, and gold.

What is an Inlays and Onlays Procedure?

Dental inlays and onlays help to eliminate tooth sensitivity and eventual tooth loss caused by decay. They are also virtually invisible since they are made from tooth-colored materials.

Ideal candidates for inlay work or onlay work typically have too much damage or decay in their tooth to be successfully treated using a filling, but have sufficient healthy tooth remaining to avoid the need for a crown.

The use of inlays and onlays requires less uncomfortable tooth reduction by drilling than metal fillings, and this allows the dentist to conserve more of the patient’s original tooth structure. There are other benefits to inlays and onlays in comparison to metal fillings:

  1. Durability – inlays and onlays are made from tough and hard-wearing materials which last up to 30 years
  2. They help to strengthen teeth by up to 75% , unlike traditional metal fillings which can actually reduce the strength of the teeth by up to 50%
  3. Having inlays and onlays prolongs the life of the teeth and prevents the need for more dental treatment in the future

Dental onlays and dental inlays are used when old fillings need to be removed or replaced. A dental inlay is similar to a filling and fits inside the cusp tips (top edges) of the tooth. A dental onlay is more extensive and extends over the cusps of the treated tooth. During treatment the dentist removes the old fillings under local anesthesia and takes an impression of the tooth which is sent to the dental laboratory. The new dental onlay or inlay is made from this mold in porcelain, gold, or composite resin material. The inlay or onlay is then cemented into place at the next appointment. The inlay or onlay blends successfully with the treated tooth and the rest of the teeth to achieve a natural, uniform appearance.  

How are Inlays and Onlays Done?

It takes two appointments for the inlays and onlays treatment to be completed and to be finally bonded to the damaged area of the tooth.

Inlays and onlays are performed using very similar procedures. At the first appointment, your dentist begins the procedure by numbing the area to be treated with local anesthetic. Any decay or damage is removed by drilling, which cleans and prepares the tooth for the dental inlay or onlay.

Using a small tray filled with dental putty that fits over the teeth, the dentist then takes a mold (or impression) of the damaged tooth. This impression is then sent off to the dental laboratory, where they create a dental inlay or dental onlay that will fit your tooth exactly. Dental inlays and onlays are usually made from porcelain, which often most closely matches the normal color of the tooth, but they can also be made from composite resin or gold. The dentist then creates a temporary restoration (cover or filling) for your tooth to protect it until your next appointment.

At the second appointment, your dentist will remove the temporary restoration. He or she will then take time to ensure that the inlay or onlay fits correctly. An inlay is similar to a filling and is fitted inside the cusp tips of the tooth. An onlay is an extended tooth reconstruction that covers a larger area of the tooth.

Only when the inlay or onlay fits perfectly will the dentist bond the inlay or onlay to the tooth with a strong resin adhesive. The inlay and onlay treatment is completed with a polish to ensure a smooth and aesthetically pleasing finish.

Each visit to the dentist for inlay or onlay treatment takes about an hour, with the first appointment taking slightly longer due to the preparation process. There will probably be a little discomfort after the inlay procedure or onlay procedure, and the new tooth surface may feel a little odd, but you soon get used to the new tooth surface and how it feels and looks in your mouth. The tissue around the treated tooth may feel sore or sensitive, but this should subside in a couple of days. If you do feel some discomfort, you can take over the counter pain medications to alleviate the symptoms.

After inlay or onlay treatment your treated tooth or teeth will be stronger, though you should still take care and avoid chewing hard foods or ice to avoid damaging the new surface.

Questions to Ask a Dentist about inlays/onlays

Here is an essential check list of questions you may want to ask your perfectyourself.com dental professional:

  1. Am I a good candidate for inlays/onlays?
  2. Are my described expectations realistic?
  3. How long will the procedure take?
  4. What kind of anesthesia or pain relief is used?
  5. What is your experience in performing inlays/onlays?
  6. Can I see your qualifications?
  7. Ask to see any inlays/onlays before and after photographs of recent procedures?
  8. What percentages of your inlays/onlays patients have had significant post-treatment complications?
  9. How much will my inlays/onlays cost?
  10. Do you offer patient financing? (Flexible payment schemes for your surgery)
  11. Will you repeat/correct procedures if the agreed goals are not met? If this is the case, will I be charged again?
  12. Ask to observe the exact procedure you are considering before you decided to have surgery if you are unsure (this could be on videotape or in real life).
  13. What is the recovery and healing period for inlays/onlays? When can I resume full normal activity?
  14. Have you ever had your malpractice insurance coverage denied, revoked, suspended?
  15. Ask for and follow up on patient references (these can be invaluable to finding out what your surgeon is really like and the level of customer satisfaction he/she has received in the past)

Cosmetic Dentist Checklist

Cosmetic Dentist Checklist

Knowledge is power so arm yourself with the facts before making any decision about Inlays and Onlays procedures; click here for an essential check list to help you find the right Perfect Yourself dentist.

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