What’s The Difference Between An Inlay And An Onlay?

tooth colored fillings Upper Arlington

If you have tooth sensitivity or pain when you chew with your back teeth, the surfaces may be damaged. One option for restoration is the use of an inlay or onlay made of metal, composite resin, or porcelain.

Inlays are very strong and shaped to precisely fit a hole in a damaged tooth. The choice of an inlay or onlay depends on how much decay and tooth loss has occurred.

An inlay resembles a filling and fills a small part of the tooth, while an onlay covers one or more of the cusps on the top of the tooth. In other words, an inlay fills a hole without changing the shape of the tooth, while an onlay builds up the tooth surface to restore its former dimension.

The procedure begins with a thorough evaluation, oral x-ray, and an impression. The damaged area will be removed and then the inlay or onlay will be formed to exactly fit your tooth and bite. While it is being made, your tooth will have a temporary restoration piece to cover and safeguard the vulnerable area.

Finally, the inlay or onlay will be placed and permanently bonded to the tooth. Since the procedure requires the removal of damaged tooth material, restoration fabrication at the lab, and placement on the tooth, it will take a few appointments to complete the process.

Inlays and onlays safeguard the tooth from further weakening, provide natural function, and are durable and inconspicuous.

Dr. Mark Miely has been restoring teeth since 1983 for patients of all ages. Mark A. Miely DDS is located in Upper Arlington though we treat patients from the surrounding communities of Grandview Heights, Hilliard, and Dublin. Our dental services include cosmetic dentistry. Make your appointment today!


Contact Mark A. Miely DDS:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1840 Zollinger Rd
Upper Arlington, Ohio


ArticleID 7075