Smile Reflections’ dental inlays and onlays can help repair and restore damaged teeth. If more than half of a tooth’s biting surface has been damaged, we usually use a dental onlay or inlay to restore the beauty and functionality of damaged teeth.

An inlay is similar to a filling…it’s used inside the cusps of a tooth

An onlay offers more substantial reconstruction…it’s similar to an inlay, yet it extends outward over the cusps of a tooth

Inlays and onlays are composed of porcelain, composite resin, or gold. The pieces are tightly bonded to the damaged areas. Gold has been a traditional material for inlays and onlays, yet porcelain is also very popular because of its strength and brilliance, and it can be applied in a color that can nearly match the color of your natural teeth.


Inlay and onlay procedures require two appointments to complete. During your first visit, the damaged or decayed part of the tooth is removed, and the surface is prepared to receive the inlay or onlay. To ensure the best fit and bite, we’ll make an impression of the tooth and send it to our lab to be fabricated. We’ll then apply a temporary sealant to the tooth.

During your second appointment, we’ll remove the temporary sealant. Dr. Hamidi will ensure that your inlay/onlay fits properly. If the fit is good, the inlay is bonded to your tooth with strong composite resin. Finally, we polish the surface until it’s smooth.


Traditional tooth fillings may reduce the strength of a natural tooth by as much as 50%. Yet, inlays and onlays offer the latest technology in high-strength bonding resins, which serve to increase tooth strength by as much as 75%.

Smile Reflections recommends onlays and inlays for teeth that need protection and reinforcement, but aren’t damaged extensively enough to require a crown or cap.

The best advantage offered by dental inlays and onlays is their longevity – In most cases they may last from ten to thirty years.

If you’re seeking a cost-effective, beautiful solution for damaged teeth, dental onlays and inlays may be right for you.