Dental Inlays and Onlays

For a more conservative approach to teeth restoration than full crowns, dental inlays and onlays can be utilized. Specifically, they are used to repair rear teeth that have seen damage at the hands of moderate tooth decay or cracking, where a full crown would not be warranted. Composite resin, porcelain and sometimes gold are used to create the inlays and onlays. The difference between the two ("in" or "on") is derived from where they are placed on the tooth. An inlay procedure is used when bonded material is limited to the tooth's center while onlays can extend further to one or more of the cusps of the tooth. 

What are the benefits of inlays and onlays?


  • The natural look and fit: Porcelain and resin inlays and onlays have the same appearance as natural teeth, making them virtually invisible compared to metal fillings. Temperature based issues that affect metal fillings, such as expansion or contraction, will also not be an issue.
  • Minimal tooth structure removal: Inlays and onlays require less removal of the tooth’s surface, helping to preserve the maximum amount of healthy structure while restoring damaged or decayed areas.

How it’s done:
Typically, two visits to our Noblesville office are required for the placements of inlays and onlays. In the first visit, Dr. Derrick A. Johnston will take an impression of your tooth, which will be sent to a lab to create the permanent inlay or onlay. Before you leave, he will fit your tooth with a temporary inlay / onlay to keep the tooth protected between visits. During your second visit, we will remove the temporary protective material and fit your tooth with the permanent inlay or onlay received from the lab.


If you desire a natural and conservative restoration aided by inlays and onlays, feel free to call Noblesville Family Dentistry at (317) 773-1302 and make an appointment today!