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Dental Inlays and Onlays at Morton Dental

When you have a tooth that is too damaged to repair with a filling but doesn’t quite need the full coverage of a crown, dental inlays and onlays are the perfect compromises.

Inlays and onlays — sometimes called “three-quarter crowns” are lab-made fillings that restore and repair a large surface area without jeopardising the integrity of your overall tooth. When a smaller amount of healthy enamel remains, inlays and onlays add extra strength back to the overall structure so that you can eat and chew as normal.

The Difference Between Inlays and Onlays

While quite similar, inlays and onlays are used for different structural needs and placed onto the teeth in two specific ways.

Inlays go inside of teeth when the cusps (pointed biting edges) of the tooth are still intact. You may want to think of them as large fillings that need to be made from a solid piece of ceramic for added stability. They set directly into the tooth like a puzzle piece, after the remaining enamel is shaped appropriately.

Onlays build up the cusps of teeth that are worn or fractured off, adding height to the tooth’s overall structure. They restore a larger outside portion of teeth rather than cavities inside of them.

What to Expect During Treatment

Getting an inlay or onlay is similar to other types of routine treatment, such as having a crown made. It involves a two-part process where we prep, shape and impress your teeth then send the models to our lab. There, your restoration is handcrafted from matched ceramic. Around two weeks later, your permanent restoration is ready to fit and bond into place. In the meantime, you’ll wear a temporary filling or crown to minimise any sensitivity.

As with any other procedure, we’ll thoroughly numb your tooth during the preparation appointment to help you feel comfortable.

Do You Need an Inlay or Onlay?

During your exam, we’ll discuss whether your tooth is structurally sound enough to support a filling. Large cavities, cracks or old metal fillings that need to be replaced are not usually appropriate for small restorations such as a traditional filling. While many dentists would move on to a full-coverage crown, opting for an inlay or onlay allows us to preserve as much healthy tooth structure as possible, thus extending the lifetime integrity of your tooth.

Schedule Your Exam Today

Contact Morton Dental today to book your dental inlays and onlays Noosa Heads appointment!
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* Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.


Dental Inlays & Onlays Noosa Heads, Noosaville, Sunshine Beach, Sunrise Beach QLD | (07) 5455 3577