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Inlay/Onlay Restorations
Marysville, WA

Dental inlays and onlays done at Grove Street Family Dentistry in WA. Inlays and onlays are two types of indirect fillings that are used to restore the damage from moderate to large cavities. Unlike regular dental fillings, inlays and onlays are not directly applied to the teeth; instead, they are first fabricated in a dental lab, and then the solid pieces are fitted tightly to the tooth.

At Grove Street Family Dentistry, Tania Tran, DMD and can check your dental health and determine whether inlays or onlays are a good dental restoration option for you.

What Are Inlay and Onlay Restorations?

Dental inlays are made to restore the chewing surface of your back teeth that are larger than what regular fillings can fix. These prosthetics cover the pits and fissures of the molar and premolar teeth but not the cusps. The bonding process of inlays can help to strengthen and stabilize the tooth enamel.

Dental inlays can be made from gold, porcelain, or ceramic in a dental lab, though they can also be built in-house with the help of CEREC technology.

Dental onlays are quite similar to inlays, except they also extend to the cusps of the teeth. These devices are used to protect teeth with extensive decay. However, the damage is not so much that it warrants root canal therapy and a dental crown to protect the weakened tooth. Dental onlays used to be made from gold alloy; however, thanks to advancements in modern dentistry, onlays are now also made from more natural-looking material.

Benefits of Choosing Inlay/Onlay Restorations

Inlays and onlays have several benefits over direct fillings:
•  Inlays and onlays are stronger and more durable than direct fillings. They can strengthen and stabilize your tooth by 70 percent. This makes them ideal for repairing larger areas of tooth damage, particularly in areas that experience a lot of chewing pressure, like the back teeth.
•  Unlike dental crowns which require removal of a significant portion of healthy tooth structure, inlays and onlays only require removal of the damaged portion. This allows you to preserve your natural tooth, which can result in better long-term dental health.
•  Inlays and onlays, especially those made from porcelain, can be custom-designed to perfectly match the color and shade of your surrounding teeth. This results in a natural-looking restoration that blends seamlessly with your smile.
•  The precise fit of inlays and onlays creates a tight seal around the repaired tooth, so there is very low risk of food particles and bacteria getting trapped. This promotes better oral hygiene and reduces the chance of future decay or gum disease.
•  These indirect fillings prevent costly treatments in the future.

Types of Materials Used for Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are made from a wide range of materials. Depending on your dental needs, Tania Tran, DMD and will find the right material that will offer maximum support to your weakened tooth.

Composite Resin

Composite resin is a tooth-colored material made from silica and other materials. Despite not being as durable as other materials, composite resin inlays and onlays are quite popular because their color matches your teeth.


Ceramic and porcelain inlays and onlays are also preferred by most patients as the material is tooth-colored, resistant to staining, and more durable than composite resin.


Zirconia is a type of ceramic that is even stronger than porcelain. It is a great choice for inlays and onlays that will be placed in areas of the mouth that bear the brunt of the force, such as the back teeth. Zirconia can also be made to look very natural, but it may not be quite as translucent as porcelain.


Metal inlays and onlays may contain silver amalgam or gold. We often use metal inlays and onlays on molars because of the high strength and durability of these metals. However, most people don't find them aesthetically pleasing. In addition, gold inlays and onlays have a prohibitive cost.

Dental inlays and onlays are more durable and stronger than regular fillings made from amalgam or composite resin, while gold inlays are the most long-lasting and most expensive.

The Inlay and Onlay Procedure Explained

Whether we recommend an inlay or onlay for you, the procedure will take at least two sessions, unless CEREC technology is used to make same-day dental restoration devices.

The good news is inlays and onlays do not require root canal surgery. These indirect fillings are placed on teeth that have cavities that are not too deep but which cannot be easily repaired by a simple dental filling.

We will first numb the area surrounding your tooth and remove the decayed enamel from it. As compared to dental crowns, inlays and onlays only require a very small amount of tooth structure to be removed. We will then make an impression of the tooth and send it to a dental lab to create your inlay or onlays.

If CEREC technology is used, we can construct inlays and onlays in-house and place them on your tooth on the same day.
Once the restoration has been made, we will cement it into place in your cavity.

Indirect fillings are strong, effective, and durable treatments for fractured, infected, or chipped teeth. It is important that you continue to exercise good oral hygiene even after you get these restorations or the chances of your tooth becoming re-infected can increase. Keep in mind that you should come in for regular dental appointments at Grove Street Family Dentistry so that we can check the health of your teeth and ensure all is right with your restorations.

Comparing Inlays and Onlays to Traditional Dental Fillings

Generally, inlays and onlays are better than fillings because they can repair a larger cavity in a more effective way and last a longer time than fillings. Unlike amalgam fillings, which expand and contract depending on the temperature of the food you eat, inlays and onlays do not have this problem since they are custom-made of porcelain or resin material. This means there is less chance of a tooth fracture or gaps appearing between the inlays and your teeth, which can make your tooth vulnerable to re-infection.

In addition, inlays and onlays can last for much longer than dental fillings, up to 30 years with proper care. If you have developed a cavity in your tooth, don't wait for it to get worse. Schedule an appointment by calling (360) 659-3200 at Grove Street Family Dentistry so that we can perform a dental checkup on you, ensure the health of your teeth, and determine an effective treatment plan for you.
Next to the Marysville Safeway Plaza


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Inlays & Onlays Restorations | Tania Tran DMD - Marysville, WA
At Tania Tran, DMD, we can restore your smile and give you your confidence back with Inlays and onlays. Click here to learn more.
Grove Street Family Dentistry - Tania Tran, DMD, 1533 Grove Street, Marysville, WA 98270-4325, (360) 659-3200,, 5/24/2024, Key Phrases: dentist,