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Inlays and Onlays


White fillings can be used to repair small to moderate areas of decay in your back teeth, but are not sufficiently strong enough to repair larger areas of decay. In this case we may recommend you have an inlay or onlay which is a slightly larger type of filling constructed using different techniques.

These restorations can be made from precious metal alloys or from porcelain to blend in beautifully with your natural teeth. Inlays and onlays are also sometimes called indirect fillings, which mean they have to be made in a dental laboratory. Inlays and onlays are stronger and longer-lasting than white fillings, and with proper care should last for ten years or more.


Dental inlays can replace the central chewing surfaces of your back teeth, completely restoring strength and structure to the tooth.


Onlays are designed to replace a more substantial part of a back tooth that includes the chewing surface as well as one or more of the cusps. The cusps are the raised points located on the inner and outer edges of back teeth, and can often become chipped or decayed.

What Is the Procedure for Having an Inlay or Onlay?

The procedure is very similar to having a standard white filling. Treatment is carried out under a local anaesthetic and your dentist will remove all the decayed tooth material through grinding it away. Once the tooth is prepared a dental impression can be taken to send to the laboratory. It normally takes two weeks to make this sort of restoration and during this time your tooth will be protected with a temporary filling. You will need to take care not to dislodge this filling and it can be best to chew on the opposite side of your mouth. If it does come out then contact us to have it replaced. The next step is to have your inlay or onlay fitted and bonded in position.

For an Inlay or Onlay, contact us at

45 Grace Avenue Frenchs Forest NSW 2086 (02) 9451 0800