Inlays & Onlays

Inlays & Onlays in Phoenix, AZ

Everyone’s familiar with dental fillings. Even if you’ve never had a filling yourself, you know someone who has, but fillings aren’t the only way to treat a cavity. At Garden Lakes Family Dentistry in Phoenix we offer inlays and onlays that repair cavities while returning the tooth to its normal strength.Both inlays and onlays treat large cavities that have eroded significant portions of the tooth’s mass. They’re used for large cavities that would leave a tooth brittle and at risk for shattering if repaired with a regular filling. It’s what part of the tooth and how much of the tooth is damaged that determines if you need an inlay or an onlay. Inlays and onlays are referred to as indirect restorations as they’re made outside of your mouth, then fitted into the space left by the cavity.


Inlays are used to repair cavities that have damaged significant amounts of the tooth’s interior. They rebuild the tooth’s structural strength and durability by reinforcing the inside. While inlays do replace some of the tooth’s chewing areas, they don’t replace the tooth cusps.


Like inlays, onlays are used to repair large cavities, but replace more of the tooth. Onlays also replace the tooth’s cusps. Onlays don’t fit over the entire tooth, unlike crowns. Onlays are made from gold, resin, metal alloys or porcelain.

Having inlays and onlays placed

It usually takes two visits to your dentist at Garden Lakes Family Dentistry in Phoenix to have an inlay or onlay placed. First, your dentist will remove the decayed material, then take a mold of your tooth. The molding is sent to a dental lab where your inlay or onlay will be made. You’ll wear a temporary crown until your next appointment. Once the inlay or onlay is ready, you will return for fitting. Your dentist will use a special permanent cement to secure the inlay or onlay firmly in place.

Inlays and onlays are long-lasting, strong and good-looking. Resin and porcelain inlays and onlays look just like your natural teeth. They don’t require any extra care apart from daily brushing and flossing.