A young woman shows off her smile with non-visible dental inlays and onlays.

Inlays and onlays

Inlays and onlays can restore the health of your tooth when a filling isn’t enough.

Why are inlays and onlays used?

If you’ve had a decayed or chipped tooth, you might have had a silver amalgam or white composite filling to restore the health and structure of your tooth.

However, if your tooth has been damaged more severely or is very decayed, your dentist might recommend treatment using an inlay or an onlay. They are normally made using porcelain which is shade matched to your teeth and blends into your smile.


What is an inlay?

An inlay is a type of small filling which fits into the top surface of the tooth, in between the cusps (the raised edges of the tooth). An inlay is used when a traditional composite filling isn’t enough, but there is no damage to the cusps of your tooth.

An icon of a dental onlay.

What is an onlay?

An onlay is bigger than an inlay and it extends over the cusps of the tooth, covering a greater area. It’s recommended if you have bigger cavities on your tooth.

How do inlays and onlays work?

First of all, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth using a hand-held intraoral scanner that makes the process quick and comfortable. These will be sent to a dental laboratory where a dental technician will use them to produce your inlay.

In the meantime, you’ll have a temporary filling fitted. When your dentist receives your permanent inlay or onlay from the lab, we will remove the temporary filling and then fix the inlay or onlay in place using an adhesive.

What are the benefits of having an inlay or onlay?

An icon of a tooth restored using a dental inlay or onlay.

It is an effective way to restore the health of your teeth if there is substantial damage or larger cavities, and traditional composite fillings won’t be enough.

An icon of a tooth whose structure was restored using a tooth inlay or onlay.

They are made from a durable material which restores the function of your tooth and saves your existing tooth structure.

An icon of a natural-looking tooth.

The natural-looking porcelain used for inlays and onlays blends in with the rest of your teeth to give you an aesthetic result.


Book your consultation now

Schedule your first appointment at our dental clinic in Double Bay, Sydney to find out how we could help you achieve a natural-looking, more confident smile.