Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and Onlays

The office of Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry of Tennessee offers a variety of dental restorations to help you maintain the beauty of your smile. Our high-quality inlays and onlays can restore tooth structure that has been affected by damage or decay.


Sometimes a tooth is too damaged for it to be filled with a fillings, but is not damaged so badly that it needs the protections of a full coverage crown. Placing a very large filling can weaken the tooth structure, increasing the probability of fracture, while the placement of a crown will require the removal of more natural tooth structure than is necessary. Inlays and onlays are ideal restoration options in such cases of mild to moderate tooth decay.


Inlays and onlays are similar, except that they cover different portions of a tooth. An inlay is placed between the cusp tips of a tooth, at the center of the tooth surface, while onlays cover one or more cusps or whole of the biting surface of the tooth.


Inlay and onlay restorations are also known as indirect fillings, because unlike traditional fillings (which are placed and shaped in the mouth directly), inlays and onlays are first crafted in a dental lab and then cemented into place. The tooth is first prepared by removing decay. An impression is then taken and sent to a dental lab where your restoration will be fabricated. In the mean time, you will be fitted with a temporary restoration which is replaced by the permanent one once it is ready.



Advantages of inlays and onlays as restorations for your teeth:

  • They allow us to preserve more of your natural tooth structure.
  • They look natural.
  • They add to the natural strength of the tooth.
  • They are highly durable and resistant to bite forces.
  • The offer perfect contours for healthy gums.


If you want to learn more about dental inlays and onlays or any other dental restorations, please call our office at (865) 483-2356