Inlays & Onlays

Inlays and onlays have similarities to dental crowns but are a less invasive option. They are fabricated indirectly in a dental laboratory before being fitted and bonded to damaged teeth. They can also be used in the placement of traditional dental fillings. Fillings are just moulded into place while onlays and inlays have to go through the lab to create the structure.

The procedure can normally be completed within at least two dental visits. Both onlays and inlays can be created from gold or porcelain materials. The major difference is that the appearance of the finished restorations mimics that of a natural tooth structure, such as the groves found on the surface to a tooth.


  • Precise fit.
  • Resistant to discolouration.
  • Easy tooth cleaning.
  • Tight spacing.
  • Highly durable material.
  • Weak tooth protector.
  • Less natural tooth material is removed.

What is the difference between inlays and onlays?

When the material is bonded within the centre of the tooth, it is an inlay. Onlays require that the biting surface of the tooth be covered. The option that you end up opting for will be dependant on your individual needs and the extent of the damage of your tooth or teeth.