Treatments / General dentistry / 

Inlays and onlays

Strengthening back teeth affected by damage or decay 

Inlays and onlays are used on the back teeth and are an excellent way to preserve a tooth that has been broken, worn down or has been affected by decay. 

Poor oral hygiene can result in decay which causes holes (or cavities) to form on a tooth’s surface. These holes leave the inside of a tooth vulnerable to bacteria and therefore need to be filled or covered. 

The back teeth can also be worn down by bruxism or tooth grinding. Over time, the back teeth can be damaged or fractured by continual grinding or clenching and may require strengthening. 

Slightly larger than traditional fillings, inlays sit within the four cusps of a back tooth whilst onlays overlap the cusps, providing extra coverage. Known as dental restorations, these are cemented into place for a strong and stable hold. 

The benefits of inlays and onlays include: 

  • Preserve your natural tooth
  • Minimal preparation needed to affected tooth 
  • Strengthen and protect damaged/decayed teeth 
  • Reduce sensitivity and discomfort caused by decay or damage

The Treatment

If you require an inlay or onlay, our general dentistry team offers complete treatment in just one appointment. 

Made from a ceramic material, an inlay or onlay is designed to blend in with your natural teeth so the treatment will be invisible to others, leaving your smile unaffected yet healthier.  

At Dutch Barton Dental Practice, our inlays and onlays are made by our Cerec 3D machine. If you require one of these restorations your dentist will take an intraoral scan of your teeth, which replaces the need for traditional dental impressions. The information is then transmitted to the Cerec software and your ceramic restoration is made in an onsite milling machine. In less than an hour, your inlay or onlay will be made and ready to be cemented in place.