Sometimes a tooth has decay or damage that is too extensive for a filling but not extensive enough for a full-coverage crown. In these cases, Dr. Huelsman might recommend an inlay or onlay.

Inlays and onlays are both “indirect” fillings, meaning they are fabricated outside the mouth, then bonded to your tooth. In contrast, a “direct” filling is applied directly to your cavity inside the mouth. Dr. Huelsman has the technology to create an inlay or only right in his office and place it in one visit!

Inlay v. Onlay
An “inlay” fits between the little points or “cusps” of a back tooth, such as a molar or premolar. An “onlay” is a little more extensive. It sits on top of one or more of these cusps, and is sometimes called a partial crown because it does not cover the entire tooth. Both of these indirect fillings are placed by Dr. Huelsman in the same manner.

Inlay or Onlay Process

  • First we’ll numb the tooth and surrounding area with a local anesthetic and remove the decay or fix other damage.
  • Once the tooth has been prepared, we’ll take a digital impression using CEREC Primsecan, a cutting-edge 3D CAD/CAM imaging technology that produces the highest-quality and most precise images available today.
  • This high-tech impression will shows the intricacies of your tooth, enabling us to fabricate a precise inlay or onlay right in our in-house lab.
  • No need for two appointments as in the past.
  • When ready, the inlay or onlay will be adhered with either a bonding resin or plastic cement.

What are the benefits of an inlay or onlay?
Inlays and onlays are more conservative than full crowns. They are more cost-efficient and require less alteration of your natural tooth’s structure. They are stronger than fillings.

How do inlays and onlays look?
Dr. Huelsman can match variant shading and shape of your teeth, creating a flawless smile with no distracting metal or color variances.

Are they durable?
Yes! Inlays and onlays can last up to 15 years when maintained with professional exams and cleanings and at-home care, including brushing and flossing.

Call our office today for all of your dental needs! Your healthy mouth is our only priority.