Improve Your Smile with Inlays and Onlays | Riverside Dentist

When discussing ways to improve your smile, there are loads of options to consider. Inlays and onlays are the ideal dental restorations needed to repair damaged teeth, when old fillings need to be removed or replaced. A dental inlay is similar to a filling and fits inside the cusp tips (top edges) of the tooth. A dental onlay is more extensive and extends over the cusps of the treated tooth.

There are two types of inlays and onlays: direct and indirect. Direct inlays and onlays are made in the dental office. They are placed in one visit. Indirect inlays and onlays are made in a laboratory. Two visits are needed to place them. The type your dentist will use depends on how much of the tooth is left.

Direct. First, your dentist will remove the decay and shape the tooth, then put a soft material called composite resin to fit the tooth. The inlay is removed and hardened in a special oven, then cemented into your tooth.

Indirect. Your dentist will remove the decay, then make an impression of the prepared tooth and neighboring teeth. The tooth will get a temporary filling while the lab creates the inlay or onlay.At your second visit, your dentist will take out the temporary filling, then cement the inlay or onlay to the tooth.

Inlays or onlays can be made of gold, composite resin (plastic) or ceramics. They can last for 10 years or longer. How long they last depends on:

  • Material used
  • Teeth involved
  • The forces of chewing
  • How well you maintain them with good oral hygiene and regular visits to a dentist

Watch this informative video on inlays and onlays:

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton’s office in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or through the website

Dr. Gerald Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside and all surrounding areas.