Inlays / Onlays / White Fillings

Inlays and Onlays are restorations that are made to rear teeth that have a mild to moderate amount of decay. They are made of composite resin material, porcelain, or gold by a dental laboratory. Once completed, they will be bonded to the tooth.

  • An inlay fills a hole inside the tooth
  • An onlay sits on top of the tooth to build up its shape.

They can also be used to:

  • Restore teeth that are cracked or fractured if the damage is not severe enough to require a dental crown.
  • Replace metal fillings for patients who desire a more natural-looking smile.
  • Their use helps to conserve much of the natural tooth structure.


Treatment involves isolating the tooth and removing any old fillings or damaged tooth structure under local anesthesia. An impression of the tooth is made, then the inlay or onlay is created from porcelain, gold, or composite resin material. The inlay/onlay is cemented securely into place. Adjustments may be made to ensure the tooth is comfortable to bite on.

Benefits of Inlays / Onlays / White Fillings

In treating dental decay, inlays and onlays help to eliminate tooth sensitivity and eventual tooth loss. Inlays and onlays also offer the following benefits:

  • Made from tooth-colored material, inlays and onlays are virtually invisible.
  • Unlike metal fillings, inlays and onlays will not expand or contract in response to temperature changes caused by hot or cold foods, diminishing the possibility of fracture.
  • Inlays and onlays require less tooth reduction than metal fillings, allowing the dentist to conserve more natural tooth structure.
  • The durable material from which inlays and onlays are made helps them last up to 30 years, much longer than that of conventional amalgam fillings.
  • Inlays and onlays can replace silver fillings to create a healthier, more natural-looking smile.
  • Saving decayed teeth, inlays, and onlays prevents the need for more extensive treatment later on.

Inlays and onlays usually take 2-3 appointments.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to get an opinion on your need for an inlay or onlay.

Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss any aspect of your dental health – we don’t charge for giving advice!