Inlays and onlays are custom-made restorations used in restorative dentistry to repair and strengthen damaged or decayed teeth. These conservative and durable dental treatments are often referred to as “indirect fillings” and offer an effective alternative to traditional dental crowns.
Inlays: Inlays are used to restore a tooth’s chewing surface when it has moderate decay or damage that is too extensive for a regular filling. They are fabricated in a dental laboratory based on impressions of the tooth and then cemented or bonded into place. Inlays are typically made from strong materials,, such as porcelain or gold.
Onlays: Onlays, also known as partial crowns, are used when the damage or decay extends to the tooth’s cusps (pointed edges). They are designed to restore both the biting surface and one or more of the tooth’s cusps. Similar to inlays, onlays are custom-made in a dental lab to provide a precise fit and optimal function. They are an excellent choice for preserving more of the natural tooth structure compared to traditional crowns.