Inlays and Onlays

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senior couple smiling thanks to inlay and onlay treatment in Puyallup WA
We work closely with you to preserve your natural smile by creating a dental plan that includes regular exams, routine cleanings, and, if desired, restorations. Inlays and onlays are the preferred type of restoration when your tooth is too damaged for a filling but not damaged enough for a crown.

Dental inlay and onlay compared to a crown at Puyallup WA dentistLike a crown, an inlay or onlay is a custom-made fitting that we secure to the damaged tooth; however, unlike a crown, it only covers a small portion of the affected tooth.

Inlays are similar to fillings and fit inside the outer edges of the tooth. They can be made out of a variety of materials, but most often they’re made out of tooth-colored porcelain. The inlay procedure requires approximately two visits. During the first appointment, any decay is removed, impressions are taken, and the temporary inlay is applied to the tooth. At the second appointment, the permanent inlay is bonded to the tooth, hiding any signs of imperfection.

Onlays, sometimes referred to as partial crowns, are similar to inlays in that the procedure is the same and takes place over the course of two days. They differ because they cover one or more of the outer edges of the tooth. They are the conservative alternative to receiving a crown, and they preserve more of your natural tooth.

Inlays and onlays may be used for cosmetic enhancement, to restore broken or decayed teeth, or to replace a damaged filling.


Do inlays and onlays fix cavities?
Dr. Daniel S. Smith, DDS and Dr. Gregory J. Wetterhus, DDS use inlays and onlays, much like fillings, to fill or cover the area where a cavity once was. It minimizes the possibility of further decay to the existing tooth.
What are the most common treatments for tooth decay?
The most common tooth decay treatments that Dr. Daniel S. Smith, DDS and Dr. Gregory J. Wetterhus, DDS use include:

  • Fluoride treatments
  • Restorations, including fillings, inlays, onlays, and crowns/tooth caps
  • Root canals
  • In the most extreme cases, extraction
For information on tooth decay prevention, click here
To find out more about inlays or onlays, call your dentist in Puyallup, WA at 253.200.5427 today to set up an appointment. We look forward to helping you restore your healthy smile.