Inlays and Onlays

Due to their shape and size, back teeth can develop cavities and fractures more easily than front teeth. Whilst fillings can be used to repair small to medium cavities, dental inlays and onlays can often be a stronger solution for back teeth with decay and fractures that are too damaged to be repaired with a filling, but still have enough healthy tooth to make a crown unnecessary. An inlay is used when the damage is contained within the top edges (cusps) of the tooth, whilst an onlay wraps further around the tooth, repairing more extensive damage affecting the cusps or central biting surface.
Inlays and onlays can be made from porcelain and composite resin, which can colour match to your teeth, and gold, which is the most durable of materials. The procedures for inlays and onlays are very similar, and will require two appointments. The first appointment prepares the tooth by removing decay and damage, and the impression is taken to create your custom-made fitting. At the second appointment, the dentist will ensure a perfect fit over the affected tooth before bonding it in place. An inlay or onlay is a strong and effective way to restore your tooth to full function and appearance, preventing further decay and protecting your natural tooth for years to come.

As with many dental procedures, you may experience increased tooth sensitivity. This pain should subside within a couple of days, but its best to avoid very hot or cold liquids and foods during this time. In addition, the tissue surrounding the treated tooth may be a little sore, and can be alleviated with over the counter painkillers.
You may find there is some discomfort whist the tooth and mouth become accustomed to the feel of the new inlay or onlay but this should become comfortable with wear.
A very small percentage of patients who have suffered from tooth decay may experience bacteria being sealed inside the tooth, which will require additional treatment.

Local anaesthetic ensures you do not feel any pain, however you will still feel pressure within the mouth throughout the procedure.

Inlays and onlays are often more durable than dental fillings and crowns, but they will require replacement at some point. Depending on the material used, they can last up to 20 years with good care, preventing the need for further dental work on the tooth and prolonging its life.

Yew Tree Dental Care are based in Slough and are highly experienced in all variations of fillings, inlays and onlays. We’ll talk through your options with you to protect and restore your teeth and ensure the best treatment and materials are recommended to suit you and your lifestyle.