What are Dental Inlays and Onlays?

A dental inlay or onlay is like a very large dental filling, used to strengthen and repair decayed, cracked or fractured rear teeth.

An inlay (as its name suggests) is applied in a tooth; an onlay is placed on a tooth.

Made in a Dental Laboratory

The difference between these and fillings is that inlays and onlays are crafted in a dental laboratory, just like crowns.

In a case where more than half the grinding surface of a molar needs to be filled or repaired, an inlay or onlay may be a better choice than a filling – stronger and longer-lasting. They are generally used when more than a filling, but less than a crown, is needed.


Here at Tribeca Dental Care, the material used for inlays and onlays is either gold or ceramic. Gold has the advantage of strength. Ceramic has the advantage of being tooth-colored.

For all your dental questions, call for a Free Consultation. Dr. Dorfman and her staff will be glad to explain everything more fully.

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