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Dental Inlays and Onlays

Dental Inlays & Onlays



Dental Onlays cover only about ¾ of the tooth and are sometimes referred to as partial crowns. They are used to restore back teeth that have a moderate amount of decay. These partial crowns are created to restore teeth that are cracked or fractured, only when there is still a healthy enamel portion of the tooth left. Onlays are less invasive than crowns, when it comes to preparation and can repair the tooth while preserving vital natural tooth structure.


Like Onlays, Inlays require less healthy tooth structure to be removed during preparation. An inlay man only placed when there is not damage to any of the cusps (outer-edges) of your tooth. It is a like a puzzle piece that will be fitted into the remaining portion of the tooth to help increase its strength, like a larger, harder laboratory fabricated dental filling.


Both Inlays and Onlays are usually crafted out of porcelain or gold, but can also be made of a composite material. When created from gold or porcelain, Inlays and Onlays do not expand or contract with the temperature changes caused by hot or cold foods. This is a significant step forward from a amalgam or resin composite dental fillings, which a can do both leaving the tooth exposed to the potential of new decay or additional loss of tooth structure. Inlays and Onlays that are made of porcelain or gold usually last up to 30 years, much longer than that of conventional fillings.

We will make the determination as to which restoration will work best in your specific situation.



When we have decided to go ahead with an inlay or onlay, we will set aside 2-3 appointments for the entire process.  Although the majority of inlays and onlays are completed in two visits, there is sometimes a need for a third visit to ensure a proper fit.

The procedure begins with the removal of all decay in the tooth.  Once we have removed the decay, we will take an impression of the tooth.  This impression will be sent to our lab where your new restoration will be crafted.  While this new tooth is created, we will provide you with a temporary restoration.  Our temporary restorations will resemble your natural teeth so that you can continue with your daily life without worrying about a missing or incompatible tooth.

During your second visit to the office, we will proceed with the placement of your final restoration.  The inlay/onlay will be fitted comfortably into the mouth. We will make every effort to ensure that the new restoration feels exactly like one of your natural teeth.  The final step in the process is to cement the inlay/onlay into your mouth, leaving you with a beautifully restored smile.

~ Family & Cosmetic Dentistry ~

JOHN C. MELUCCI, D.D.S. ~ 3733 Poplar Avenue ~ Castle Shannon, PA 15234

Phone: 412.531.6804 ~ Email: jcmeluccidds@comcast.net