Inlays & Onlays

Dental inlays and onlays are used at our Parkdale clinic when a filling is insufficient and a crown is too much to protect dental decay. Find out more.

More than a filling and not quite a crown! You’re probably well aware that dentists use fillings and dental crowns to fill cavities and repair teeth damaged by tooth decay but you may not be familiar with alternatives such as dental inlays and onlays. Our Parkdale dentist explains what they are and how they differ. 

Inlays and Onlays – The ‘in-between’ option

Normally, fillings are used to repair small cavities while crowns are often used when the cavity is much deeper or a tooth has a large fracture that needs covering up. Sometimes, however, a dentist may face a situation where a filling is not quite enough and a crown is too much. 

In this case they need something ‘in-between’ and that’s when dental professionals will turn to dental inlays and onlays. These restorations are more substantial than a dental filling but less intrusive than a crown. 

Dental inlays and onlays Parkland – What’s the difference?

Inlays and onlays are often referred to in dentistry as ‘indirect fillings’. This means that they are custom made in a lab to fit the size and shape of a cavity or damaged area.

The main difference between dental inlays and dental onlays is the amount and part of the tooth they cover.

Inlays, for example, are fitted into the chewing part of a tooth that has been damaged from decay or injury. 

Onlays, on the other hand, are used to repair damage and wear to the cusps of the tooth as well as the biting surface. In short, inlays repair the surface of a tooth while onlays repair larger areas.

 Dental onlays are also commonly referred to as partial crowns because while they serve a similar function, they cover part of the tooth as opposed to the whole thing.

Ready to restore your smile beautifully?

If you would like to learn more about how dental inlays and onlays at our Parkdale dental clinic could help you restore your smile, then please get in touch with the team at Synergy Dental Group to discuss your best options.

 We also welcome patients from other local Melbourne suburbs including Aspendale, Aspendale Gardens and Braeside.

Frequently Asked Questions About Inlays and Onlays

What’s the process for dental inlays and onlays?

The procedure is almost the same for both treatments and requires 2 dental visits. The first visit is to prepare the tooth for treatment which involves removing any decayed or damaged areas and cleaning the tooth. The colour of the restoration is then determined and an impression is sent to the lab. A temporary inlay or onlay will be placed while the patient waits for the restoration to be made. During the second visit, the inlay or onlay will be cemented firmly into place. 

What are dental inlays and onlays made from?

Dental Inlays and onlays can be made from porcelain, composite, or even gold. Composite is the cheapest option but it will stain over time and is not as durable as the other alternatives.  

How much do inlays and onlays cost?

Patients can expect to pay more for an inlay or onlay than they would a filling. But the exact cost can depend on certain factors such as the experience and reputation of the dentist and the material used to make the restoration. While inlays and onlays tend to cost about the same, an onlay may cost more if the restoration is extensive. To find an exact price, patients should schedule a consultation with Synergy Dental Group.