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Porcelain Onlays

Onlays are indirect (meaning they are fabricated at a laboratory) restorations used to replace broken or decayed portions of teeth. Depending on which portions of your tooth need to be replaced or repaired an onlay may be a good option for you. In general, onlays are a more conservative treatment option than crowns in cases where a filling would not be appropriate. Onlays allow your dentist to preserve more of your remaining healthy tooth structure.

For more details on this service visit ADA’s CromwellDental_MouthHealthy.jpg  


  • > To replace damaged, broken, worn or decayed portions of teeth
  • > If you have enough remaining healthy tooth structure that you do not need a crown but not enough solid tooth structure to retain a simple filling.
  • > To strengthen a tooth with a very large filling that needs to be replaced.

What can I expect during the procedure?

In order to place an inlay/onlay on a tooth, the tooth must first be prepared. This is done by removing any areas of decay or broken down fillings as well as a small amount (0.5-2mm) of tooth structure in the areas the inlay or onlay will cover. When this is completed, an impression of your tooth will be taken. This impression will be sent to our very capable lab technicians who will use it to fabricate a precise-fitting inlay or onlay in a color that matches your existing teeth or in gold depending on your preference. While you are waiting for your inlay/onlay to return from the lab you will be wearing a temporary to protect the tooth.

At your next appointment, about two to three weeks later, the temporary inlay/onlay will be removed and we will insert your permanent restoration. We will check to make sure it fits well, has a pleasing esthetic appearance, and feels comfortable when you bite down and chew. Some slight adjustments may be necessary to make it perfect. Finally, the permanent inlay/onlay will be bonded or cemented to your tooth with dental cement. If you have any questions about inlays or onlays or a question during or after your procedure please feel free ask us!

I had an inlay or onlay placed, now what?

After having your inlay/onlay placed your tooth should function just as it did before treatment. As always, it is important to keep the tooth clean using your normal, diligent brushing and flossing techniques. It is possible to fracture portions of the restorative material so you should avoid chewing ice or other hard objects. Depending on the nature of your bite we may recommend that you wear a night guard to help protect the tooth.  



Our office is currently booking appointments for regular and emergency services including routine cleanings and scheduled procedures. With added protection for you and our staff in place, we're excited to see you soon!