Inlays & Onlays

Your tooth may suffer damage from gum disease, decay, or injury and you want it repaired or restored. At Zenith Smiles we offer dental inlays and onlays to restore your damaged teeth. We may recommend getting this procedure if the damage has not affected the cusps of your tooth. Also, the procedure is ideal when the level of injury does not leave enough material to anchor a crown. Inlays and onlays are alternatives to fillings and crowns, which also restore damaged teeth. Our team will offer professional assistance to help you choose the best restorative solution for your damaged teeth.


Onlays cover the cusp of your affected tooth. They are customized to fit the shape and size of the space. Crowns have the same restorative properties as onlays. However, onlays are less aggressive and cheaper to install. Apart from cost, you should also consider other factors like the extent of repair and the position of the damaged tooth.


Inlays and fillings are both used to fill an empty cavity. However, we use inlays for bigger cavities. We create the inlay in our laboratories, using materials like porcelain, gold, and ceramic. We ensure that the inlay fits the space, to reduce the risk of further decay.


The procedure takes four basic steps. The first one is cavity filling removal, which is optional. This step is necessary if you have fractured or damaged your cavity fillings. Our dentist will remove any filling before placement. We will also remove any tissue that has decay or cavities. This will leave you with a hollow cavity. Then, we will shape your tooth in preparation for placement.

The second step involves creating an impression on the tooth. The impression dictates the material to use when constructing the inlay or onlay. Then, we use a temporary filling to seal the hollow cavity. Temporary filling prevents the tooth from decaying. It also reduces the risk of sensitivity, which may cause discomfort and pain. Once the inlay or only is complete, you will come in for the final placement. During placement, we will use a local anesthetic to reduce pain. After administering the anesthetic, we will remove the temporary filling, leaving a hollow cavity again. Finally, we cement the onlay or inlay into your tooth.


Recovery time after the procedure is very short. However, your teeth are still at risk of bacterial infection and plaque buildup after recovery. Practicing good oral hygiene will help sustain the restorations in the long run. We recommend observing basic oral hygiene practices like brushing twice a day and using mouthwash regularly. You also need to floss daily to clean between your teeth. Our dentists will also advise on dietary restrictions after restoration. For instance, we advise against sugar intake or consuming acidic foods and drinks. You will also need to come in for a routine checkup every six months. Routine checkups allow us to catch potential signs of leakage of the inlay or onlay, damage, or disease.

To discuss this and other restoration options for your teeth, visit us at Zenith Smiles. You can also talk to us by calling (714) 838-0790.

Skip to content