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Inlays and Onlays

Porcelain inlays and onlays are frequently used at our Calgary, Alberta practice to restore weakened or damaged teeth. These dental restorations are placed in order to reinforce a tooth structure for added protection. In the tier of conservative vs. more involved procedures, porcelain inlays and onlays fall somewhere between white fillings and porcelain crowns. They are generally stronger and longer lasting than regular fillings, but do not offer quite as much coverage as crowns.

Both inlays and onlays serve the same purpose. Dr. Silver may recommend these treatments to patients who have larger areas of tooth decay or damage that have not compromised the tooth structure enough to warrant a porcelain crown. The difference lies in the location of the porcelain restoration.

Porcelain inlay: placed on chewing surfaces of teeth (between the cusps)

Porcelain onlay: placed over one or more cusps.

The Inlay/Onlay Procedure


First, Dr. Silver will numb the area. If the restoration will replace an old filling, the filling is carefully removed. If the inlay or onlay is addressing decay, the bacteria will be taken out of the tooth. Dr. Silver will smooth and shape the area to make room for the new addition. Then, a mold is taken of your tooth. After the inlay or onlay is custom made in our lab, you will come back in for placement. Don’t worry, you’ll get a functional temporary restoration that will rest in place until your next appointment. No one wants to walk around with a great big hole in their tooth.

Porcelain Inlays and Onlays in Alberta FAQ

How do inlays and onlays differ from regular fillings?

Inlays and onlays are classified as indirect dental restorations, meaning that they are created in our lab and affixed to teeth in a second visit. White fillings are direct dental treatments, since they are applied directly to teeth and can be done in one visit.

The porcelain used to create inlays and onlays has the ability to protect and strengthen teeth more than fillings, which are used to fill in small areas of decay or damage as reinforcement. Inlays and onlays also resemble the qualities of tooth enamel more so than the composite material used in fillings.

Is the inlay/onlay procedure quick?

Using CEREC technology we can prepare and create an inlay or onlay in one visit.Occasionally we may need to take an impression for our laboratory to construct your inlay or onlay which would require two visits,but the majority of the time one visit is required..

What types of restorations are available to patients with damaged teeth?

There are a variety of cosmetic dental options for you to choose from at our Calgary, Alberta, smile makeover practice. Tooth bonding, white fillings, porcelain crowns, and tooth whitening are just a few of the possibilities.

Are inlays and onlays affordable?

We offer financing for patients who prefer to pay over time. During your visit, you can speak to a financial coordinator to discuss the fees and your payment plan choices.

Learn about your cosmetic dentistry options including porcelain inlays and onlays at Southcentre Dental Clinic in Calgary, Alberta. Please contact us today and we’ll set you up with a first visit. A beautiful new smile could be just a phone call away.

Dr. Jennifer Silver - Cosmetic Dentistry - Making better SmilesFREE CONSULTATION