Why Dental Inlays And Onlays Are Called Indirect Fillings

by | Dec 22, 2018 | blog, Dental Health, general dentistry, Thornhill dental services

Sometimes, a tooth has severe damages that regular fillings can’t repair or restore. However, it’s also not as severe as to need a full coverage dental crown. This is where dental inlays and onlays come into the picture.

Dentists use dental inlays to fill only one cusp of a premolar or molar tooth. On the other hand, onlays cover two or more of these cusps.

Indirect fillings

Unlike regular tooth fillings, dentists do not apply inlays and onlays materials directly on the tooth. According to the North York dentist, a dental laboratory fabricates the resin material first before bonding it on the prepared tooth. This is why dentists also consider inlays and onlays as indirect fillings.


The process in having inlays and onlays is a similar experience with having a dental crown procedure. Crown procedures totally reshapes the teeth, shrinking it, so the tooth cap fits. Meanwhile, the dentists only removes the tiny decayed portion of the tooth for dental inlays and onlays. This is to keep the dentistry’s goal which is to preserve as much as there is of the original and natural tooth structure.

Before the filling, the dentist removes the decay to prevent it from infecting the roots and the other teeth. He then digitally takes the patient’s teeth impression and sends it to the dental laboratory to model for the inlay or onlay. They can be made of resin, gold or ceramic.

The North York dentist applies a temporary filling on the tooth to protect it until the permanent material is ready. The patient will have his permanent inlay or onlay on the next dental visit.   

Why dental inlays and onlays?

There are plenty of restorative options that are available for each patient’s unique dental case. The dentist recommends dental inlays and onlays for these function and advantages:

  • Inlays and onlays can fix a decayed tooth that only involves the cusps.
  • It preserves more natural tooth structure.
  • These fillings are available in durable materials such as gold and ceramics.
  • Ceramic fillings imitate teeth color making it look natural.
  • It feels and looks more like a real teeth than a crown.
  • The procedure is less-invasive and patients can endure it without sedation.

More patients are thanking their North York dentist due to the benefits of inlays and onlays.

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