Inlays & Onlays: Dental Restorations in Orlando

Inlays and Onlays

When it comes to needing full dental crowns, you actually have more options than you might think. For example, inlays and onlays are a restorative technique that can often be used instead of traditional dental fillings or crowns to treat tooth decay or other structural problems. They are a conservative, custom treatment that allows you to keep more of your natural tooth. Dr. Puig and our exceptional staff at Dynamic Smile Design want you to feel confident that you are receiving the best dental care possible; we will help you to know about all of your treatment options so you can decide which techniques best meet your personal needs. Read on to learn about the differences between inlays and onlays, the benefits of both, and what to expect during a treatment procedure.


Inlays are made beforehand in a dental lab before being fitted and bonded to your teeth; they can be made from many different materials, including gold, porcelain or resin. There are some important differences between inlays and onlays. Inlays are smaller than onlays; they fit snugly between the cusps, or bumps, on top of a tooth. They are a treatment option when decay hasn’t progressed too far or if you have a cavity between your teeth. Inlays are better at keeping out bacteria, acid, and food debris than a direct composite filling because they act as a seal over your tooth.


Onlays are also made beforehand in a dental lab and are later fitted and bonded to your teeth; they can be made from the same materials as inlays. Onlays, however, are used when the damage is more extensive; onlays are larger than inlays. They cover at least one of the cusps, or points, on the top of a molar. Sometimes onlays even cover the entire biting surface of a damaged tooth. Onlays are a great treatment option because they can actually protect the weaker parts of a tooth.


Inlays and onlays provide many benefits both in appearance and functionality. First, the conservative technique preserves as much of your healthy tooth as possible. By keeping as much of your original tooth as possible, you’re more likely to have healthier, functional teeth longer. In fact, the material and tight fight of the inlays and onlays can actually help to make a damaged tooth stronger. Your tooth may actually be easier to clean with an inlay or onlay than with a dental crown because while amalgam fillings can shrink and leave gaps, the inlay or onlay will not. You’ll get a precise fit with smooth edges, which makes keeping your teeth clean and healthy easier. Aesthetically, inlays and onlays are a great option because they can have a natural look. Unlike fillings, inlays and onlays are not likely to discolor. They are a beautiful, long term treatment option.

What to Expect

Usually an inlay or onlay procedure will take two visits. During the first visit your mouth will be prepared to receive the restoration. Your tooth decay or old filling will be removed and your teeth will be cleaned. We’ll take an impression of the tooth that is being treated and send that impression to a dental laboratory. We will also help you to decide what material is best for your inlay or onlay. Esthetically, porcelain is the best option because of its natural look, but if the damage is on a back molar where nobody will see it, gold is often better as it can resist more pressure. If you grind your teeth, consider a resin material. Until your next appointment, a temporary inlay or onlay can be placed over your teeth, protecting them from damage until your custom, final restoration is complete.

During the second visit, your custom inlay or onlay will be placed and the temporary restoration will be removed. Our team will check to be sure that the inlays or onlays fit perfectly, that the edges are smooth, and that your bite feels and looks normal. Finally, the restoration will be bonded to your tooth and the edges polished so it blends in nicely with your natural teeth. Inlays and onlays are extremely durable and successful, but we’ll check your teeth during each subsequent check-up to make sure there are no problems with your restorations.

If you’re looking for an alternative to full coverage dental crowns, contact us to discuss the possibility of inlays and onlays with the staff at Dynamic Smile Design. Our team can help you to determine what options are right for you, giving you the very best in dental care.

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Enhancing lives one smile at a time.Call Dynamic Smile Design in Orlando today to schedule your appointment or consultation with Dr. Puig. Our conveniently located Orlando dental office provides downtown Orlando, Baldwin Park, Maitland, Winter Park, College Park, and surrounding areas with personalized service and comfortable, quality dentistry.