Inlays & Onlays in Walnut Creek

Like a super-strong filling, inlays and onlays are artificial additions to reinforce the tips (or cusps) of your teeth. If the biting surface of a tooth has experienced enough decay, Dr. Villaseñor may recommend that an inlay or onlay is the right course of treatment.

Dr. Dale Villasenor DDS
Inlay Onlay Crown

What Are Inlays & Onlays?

Inlays and onlays are used to treat moderate tooth decay, restoring your smile in a way that’s less intensive than a crown but sturdier than a filling. Inlays are smaller and applied to the middle of a tooth, while onlays wrap around the tooth and are used when decay is a bit more advanced. Inlays and onlays are mostly made of porcelain resin, reinvigorating your smile with a natural color that’s nearly indistinguishable from your organic teeth.


If inlays and onlays sound similar to fillings and crowns it’s because, in a lot of ways, they are. But some important differences exist. Inlays are bonded to your tooth unlike a filling and will provide more support and last longer than traditional fillings. Onlays cover only the deteriorating portion of a tooth, unlike a crown that covers the entire tooth.

How Are Inlays & Onlays Applied?

The installation of inlays and onlays typically takes two appointments. The damaged area of the tooth is removed during the first visit and an impression of the tooth is taken to ensure the inlay or onlay is custom-made to fit your mouth exactly. In the interim, a temporary sealant will be applied to the tooth. On the second visit, the sealant is removed and the new inlay or onlay is affixed to the tooth and strongly bonded in place.

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