Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays restore a decayed or otherwise damaged tooth that a white filling could not


Inlays and onlays are similar to fillings but are not directly bonded onto your tooth. They are fabricated in our dental laboratory and then placed with dental cement. The difference between an inlay and an onlay is an inlay fits in the tooth and an onlay sits on top of the remaining tooth structure.

Inlays and onlays can be constructed using:


When you visit one of our dental practices, an Duck Creek Dental dentist will assess your oral health and determine the treatment that best suits your oral health needs. One of the contributing factors us the extent of damage to the tooth. If the damage is extensive you may require a dental crown instead of an onlay. A dental crown covers the whole tooth whereas an onlay only covers the top (or cusps) of the tooth.

The procedure for inlays/onlays


The procedure for inlays or onlays takes two appointments: the first to prepare the tooth surface and the second to fit the inlay or onlay.

The first appointment


During your first appointment we will assess and prepare your tooth. This involves:

The tooth and surrounding tissue to be numbed
Once the anaesthetic kicks in the decay will be removed and your tooth prepared for the inlay or onlay
An impression is taken of your teeth with dental putty. We will take an impression of your upper and lower teeth so our dental technician can see how your teeth bite together.
While you wait for your permanent restoration a temporary one will be fitted.
It is generally a week or two before we receive your permanent restoration

The second appointment


During your second appointment one of our dentists will place your inlay or onlay. This involves:

Once again your teeth and surrounding gum tissue will be numbed
After the anaesthetic has kicked in the temporary restoration will be removed and your tooth cleaned
Before bonding your new restoration, we will ensure that it fits properly and that your bite is comfortable. Once you are happy and our dentist is happy the inlay or onlay will be bonded into place using dental cement.
How long an onlay or inlay lasts will depend on how you look after your oral health. At Duck Creek Dental, we strongly recommend maintaining regular dental check-ups to ensure your oral health and to assess the restoration.