Edgerton & Glenn provide a Variety of Preventative, Restorative, and Cosmetic Dental Services to Wilmington, NC Residents. Call To Schedule Your Consultation Today.


CALL (910) 256-9230

1426 Commonwealth Dr. Suite A, Wilmington, NC 28403

Inlays and Onlays For Dental Restoration of Damage or Decay

Inlays and onlays are a restoration technique dentists used to strengthen a tooth to address tooth damage and decay.

Many people prefer to have their dental inlays prosthetics made with ceramic or porcelain, but some people prefer the look and feel of gold for their dental inlay material. To be considered an inlay, the material is placed inside the ridges of the where your teeth meet each other along your actual bite.  The inlay sits on the indented top surfaces of your tooth. Inlays are used to restore your tooth’s strength, which allows you to bite down and chew better. And like many dental procedures, inlays can add to the overall aesthetics of your teeth and look of your mouth.

Like inlays, onlays are made from the same materials like ceramic, porcelain or even gold, but onlays are used to address a more serious loss of tooth structure.  Onlays cover more of the tooth’s surface and extend to the edge of the tooth. You may already be familiar with one type of onlay which is a dental crown. In the case of a dental crown, the onlay covers the entire surface of the tooth.  Once the material of the onlay has set and it fit properly, most people find that they have regained the ability to chew and bite like they once were able to prior to the tooth damage. The renewed ability to chew and bite as you once did allows you to live your life more fully and enjoy your life day to day more.

Nearly everyone can be a candidate for inlays and onlays and improve their oral health. Other unique procedures we offer are CEREC same day crowns. As our dentist regarding this unique option if fillings are no longer suitable restoration.


We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have.

Please call our office or use the quick contact form.

Dental Inlay & Onlay Procedure

The inlay and onlay procedures are almost identical.  Once you and the dentist in wilmington nc have determined that an inlay or onlay is the best treatment plan for your dental health, the dentist will need to remove the decay from the affected tooth you are looking to restore.  The dentist will need to assess the amount of damage the decay caused on the tooth to determine whether an inlay or an onlay is the best way to restore your mouth’s health and improve your tooth. The dentist may have a few reasons for choosing an inlay over an onlay or vice versa, but it comes down to how much of the tooth is affected and which area of the tooth is affected.  Depending on which one is most appropriate for you, the dentist will make an impression of the tooth to be sent to the lab or take a digital scan and fabricate the inlay/onlay in the office for a same day appointment. Once the lab completes the inlay or onlay in the size, shape and color of your preference, you will come for a follow up appointment. At this appointment, the dentist will check the fit of the inlay or onlay to be sure it helps your bite and does not cause excess wear on any other teeth. Once you and the dentist are satisfied that the inlay or onlay is correctly fitted, the dentist will set the inlay or onlay in place with a dental cement to complete the placement process.

Inlay & Onlay Benefits

Having an inlay or an onlay placed offers many benefits over other options like a crown or a filling and one of the most popular benefits is due to the price tag attached to the inlay and onlay procedure.  Fillings and dental crowns are more expensive than the other two procedures.

Inlays and onlays are custom made and well fit so they end up feeling very comfortable.  This snug fit allows you to care for your new inlay or onlay and the surrounding teeth. A cleaner mouth means less future decay and the preservation of your healthy remaining tooth that received the inlay or onlay.

Despite all the perks to having an inlays and onlays, they are not the perfect solution for everyone and all dental decay issues. As a general rule of thumb, the dentist will opt for inlays and onlays when you need to replace less than 50% of your tooth. While this is the general guideline, the dentist will use additional factor to determine if inlays and onlays may are your best option. You and the dentist can discuss your concerns and all the options to be sure you land on the correct choice for you.

Caring for Inlays and Onlays

Due to the dentist cleaning the decay affected tooth, it is not uncommon to experience some irritation or residual numbness after the procedure.  While your mouth is more sensitive, take care to avoid hot or cold beverages. Also, minimize eating sticky foods to limit your discomfort.

During the days and weeks following the more invasive appointments, eating softer foods will keep you comfortable.  Once the healing process takes hold, you can gradually include harder and more abrasive foods. Once your dentist has completed work on your inlay or onlay, and you are fully healed with your new inlay or onlay in place, you need to treat your inlay or onlay like your natural teeth.

Associated Costs of Inlay & Onlays

Costs for each procedure vary depending on how long the procedure takes, what materials the procedure requires, how many visits the procedure requires, and the amount of work the dentist is required to do. It may surprise you to know, but dental insurance may cover some of the costs for these as well as elective procedures as they lead to improved overall dental health and long term benefits. If you do not have dental insurance coverage or you have any questions about payment options for your treatment plan, you are more than welcome to talk to our staff at any time. Your budget’s health is just as important as your mouth’s health.


High Quality Care You Can Trust

At Edgerton & Glenn Cosmetic and General Dentistry. We strive to build relationships with our patients. You are more than just teeth, you are our patient and friend and we want to help you to achieve and maintain oral health as best we can. We look forward to meeting you and talking about what is best for you and your mouth. Please contact us to set up a inlay or onlay appointment at (910) 256-9230.