In’s and Out’s of Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and Onlays, and the in’s and out’s. Now that’s a mouthful. A mouthful of fabulous cosmetic dentistry work to bring out a brighter, healthier, beautiful smile! Lifetime Family Dental wants to care for all your dental needs, whether it be crowns, bridges, cosmetic surgery, or inlays and onlays. We are your gentle dentists in Gilbert Arizona, and here to partner with you to bring about the best smile you can hope for.

What is an Inlay/Onlay?

Inlays and Onlays are ways of dental restoration for your teeth, to build stronger, long lasting solutions to tooth decay and other damage. The inlays and onlays are an alternative to regular fillings by your dentist. While the fillings are molded into place in your teeth right in the office during the visit, the inlays and onlays need to be custom molded in a dental lab prior to adhering them in your teeth.

The difference between an inlay and an onlay is based upon where the damage of the tooth takes place. If the damage of the tooth is in the center of the tooth, the material gets bonded there and is therefore called an “inlay.” When the damage of the tooth occurs more on the points or on the overall biting surface, this is then called the “onlay.”


As an alternative to regular dental fillings, inlays/onlays can are used for various reasons. Inlays/Onlays are a type of cosmetic dentistry that brings about major benefits that include:

*Stronger Tooth Structure: Due to them being a great fit for the tooth structure itself, it creates a deeper strength in the tooth and resistance to the decay.

*Superior Fit: With the material being custom fit to the tooth, it ensures the filling for the decay is adhered perfectly to your tooth and preserves as much healthy normal tooth structure as possible.

*Tooth Color: The material adhered to your tooth has a long lasting ability to hold it’s color.

*Easy Cleaning: With the inlays/onlays being a precise fit to your tooth, it allows for natural easy cleaning of your teeth without shrinking of the material or a full coverage option like a crown.

There are various benefits to choosing to do an inlay/onlay for your tooth decay or structural damage needs.


The best way to know what you need, or what will be most beneficial for your beautiful smile, visit Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert, Arizona! We are here to help you with the most cost effective and gentle cosmetic dentistry services for your teeth.


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (2/27/2022) Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash