Dental Inlays & Onlays

What is a Dental Inlay?

A tooth inlay may be used instead of a filling to replace a small amount of tooth loss due to decay in the center of a tooth. Unlike a filling, which is molded in the dentist’s office, a dental inlay is fabricated in a laboratory. Your dentist then fits it for the damaged tooth and bonds it into place. A tooth inlay is an extremely stable and long-lasting restoration. Inlays and onlays increase the strength of a tooth.

Inlays fit inside the tooth like a filling. In the past, inlays were often made of gold, but today, tooth inlays are made of either ceramic or a special dental composite. A porcelain inlay is an example of a ceramic inlay.

Dr. Michael Adams and Dr. Pamela Adams can make sure these materials match the color of your teeth for a better appearance. You can often replace defective or unsightly fillings with tooth-colored inlays that bond to the tooth, sometimes improving the strength of the tooth and helping to seal the inlay to the tooth.

What is a Dental Onlay?

A tooth onlay fits inside the tooth, similar to an inlay, but it also becomes part of the chewing surface of a back tooth to replace one or more cusps. An onlay is also fabricated outside the dentist’s office in a lab.

Most patients request tooth-colored onlays for a natural look. Use of a ceramic onlay, specifically a porcelain onlay, can strengthen the tooth and seal the onlay to the tooth. It is a stable and lasting restoration.

Dental Inlays, Dental Onlays—or Crowns?

You may be wondering when an inlay or onlay is used rather than a crown or cap. When the damage to the tooth is not extensive enough to justify a crown, an inlay or onlay can be an excellent alternative. This determination is made by a dental expert. Ask Adams Dental if you are a candidate for a tooth-colored inlay or onlay during your next appointment.

If tou need dental crowns, bridges, cleanings, or veneers, contact Adams Dental today.


Our COVID-19 Statement

Out of an abundance of caution for the health of our dental team, our patients, and their families, we are making a proactive decision to postpone and reschedule all elective procedures including dental cleanings. Please understand that this situation is unbelievably fluid and we will make the necessary decisions to protect the health of our patients, our dental team, their families, and our community.

If you are a patient of record and you are experiencing a true dental emergency, please call (727) 804-3638

We appreciate everyone’s compassion and understanding during these difficult days. We look forward to seeing you as soon as we are past this unprecedented health concern. We will all get through this.

From all of us at Adams Dental and our families, be safe and be well.