What You Need To Know About Inlays and Onlays

Tooth Decay If you have large metal fillings or large cavities you want filled to look and function just like your natural teeth, you may need to consider inlays and onlays. Also referred to as indirect fillings, these offer you a better, stronger and lasting solution to damaged teeth. These restorations are advantageous, as they provide both aesthetic and functional properties.

How are they fitted?

Unlike dental fillings that are moulded into place within one’s mouth, inlays and onlays are made in a dental lab before being fitted; they are then bonded to the damaged teeth by your dentist. You will be required to visit your dentist twice, as opposed to a single visit required for a standard filling.

Before fitting the fillings, the dentist will discuss with you the types of materials used to make the inlays and onlays. The common materials used are ceramic, gold and composite resin.

An inlay restoration is when the material is bonded within the center of the tooth. Conversely, an onlay includes a restoration that fully covers the biting surface of a tooth. On your second visit, the dentist removes the temporary inlay or onlay and replaces it with a new one secured using special dental cement before being polished.


Cosmetic dentistry practitioners in Northern Ireland say inlays and onlays are suitable restorative solutions for people with tooth decay. The superior fit and durability strengthens a damaged tooth.


Unlike traditional fillings that often come out, inlays and onlays offer a perfect alternative to crowns as they preserve the health of a tooth.

Tooth colour

People may enjoy the aesthetic longevity as the inlays or onlays do not discolour or stain easily like resin fillings.

Easy cleaning

Your dentist tailors all edges, which makes the appliance easier to clean. This cannot be said for dental crowns.

If you feel that inlays and onlays may be right for you, visit your dentist in Northern Ireland. Your dentist will explain to you the various filings available and check to see if you would benefit from the procedure.