What Are Inlays And Onlays?


At Smile Hub Dental Clinic, we offer Inlays and Onlays to restore teeth towards the back of the mouth that have decay or damage. Inlays and Onlays are stronger and last longer than tooth coloured fillings. Large white fillings are not always strong enough for large cavities when a lot of tooth structure is broken down or missing. Also, it can be difficult to build up the tooth shape properly using white composite resin filling material. Ceramic inlays and onlays are made in a dental laboratory which allows the use of higher strength ceramics which will last longer for you compared to a white filling. At Smile Hub our expert cosmetic dentists aim to provide early treatment to preserve as much natural tooth as possible. Delaying treatment for tooth decay or damage can result in a patient needing root canal treatment. It can also potentially lead to the loss of a tooth. Prevention is better than cure when it comes to your oral healthcare. Your best dentist for ceramic inlays and onlays in Dublin.

Teeth that are damaged and decayed need to be restored so that your ability to chew properly is not compromised. At Smile Hub Dental Clinic, we provide patients with a number of treatment options to restore teeth that look natural and provide strength and stability. Inlays and onlays are also known as partial dental crowns and are made using a strong ceramic material. This results in an invisible restoration that can last for many years.


The benefits of inlays and onlays is that these restorations are made for back teeth that have a larger amount of damage. Inlays and onlays are preferable when a tooth has a larger cavity, crack or fracture. A white filling will not provide enough strength and a dental crown may involve cutting away too much tooth to cover the tooth properly with a crown. Inlays and onlays are less destructive as they leave more of your tooth unprepared and they only sit inside and on top of your tooth. Ceramic inlays and onlays are made by experienced dental technicians from ceramic or sometimes gold so that they fit your tooth precisely.


Please call us on 01 5253888 or Book Online Now so that our experienced dental team can examine your teeth and advise you on the best course of action to restore your broken, decayed or weakened tooth. We look forward to welcoming you to North Dublin’s Premier Dental Clinic.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a dental filling instead of an inlay or onlay?

Fillings are used to fill small cavities. Crowns are used when there is deeper decay and there is a need to cover a fracture to protect the broken tooth. In some cases however a filling is not strong enough and a crown removes too much tooth structure to protect the decay. This is where dental inlays and onlays are ideal as they aren’t as invasive as a crown which requires your natural tooth to be reshaped. An inlay only fills in the cavity in your tooth. An onlay fills a cavity and helps protect the cusps of your tooth. Onlays are similar to crowns but they do not cover the entire surface of a tooth like a crown. Both inlays and onlays are made from the same porcelain materials and they both cover different areas of the tooth to properly protect the tooth’s strength when their is tooth decay.

What is the difference between Porcelain Inlays and Onlay?

When tooth decay or damage is too extensive to be restored with a simple composite or amalgam dental filling an inlay and onlay may be recommended by your dentist in Smile Hub. Inlay and Onlays remove less tooth structure than a full-coverage crown so they’re an excellent conservative option for ensuring your tooth’s optimum function and aesthetics.

Inlays and Onlays are larger fillings that are made in a dental laboratory using tooth-coloured porcelain instead of composite material. An inlay replaces the inner chewing surface of your back tooth. An onlay replaces a larger area of your tooth which includes the inner chewing surface plus one or must cusps of your broken or decayed tooth.

What do inlays and onlays treat?

Inlays and Onlays are a restoration solution for teeth that have mild to moderate dental decay or damage. Simple cavities can be filled using white composite material and are typically completed within one visit to Smile Hub Dental Clinic. Getting porcelain dental inlays and onlays is a two stage process that involves waiting for the dental technician to mill the porcelain restoration.

What are the treatment options for a decayed or damaged tooth?

When a white or metal filling is not enough to fix a badly broken or decayed tooth then a full coverage crown may be recommended. If the cracked or broken tooth needs a medium sized restoration an Inlay or Onlay may be a more conservative treatment option. For a simple small-sized broken or decayed tooth a dental filling is usually adequate to restore function and aesthetics. Please contact Smile Hub Dental Clinic immediately if you have a decayed, broken, cracked or chipped tooth as treating this damage in a timely manner will help avoid a root canal treatment or a tooth extraction if the decay progresses too close to the nerve.

What are the benefits of inlays and onlays?

Inlays and onlays are strong and longer-lasting when compared to dental fillings. Inlays and onlays are most suitable for large restorations in the back teeth. Inlays and onlays offer strength and durability while providing a naturally aesthetic appearance for your tooth. When contrasted with a dental filling, inlays and onlays provide much more strength and integrity to the weakened and damaged tooth. Your inlay and onlay can be maintained in the exact same way as your natural teeth with twice daily toothbrushing, flossing and using a high quality mouthwash with a minimal alcohol content. Make sure to attend regular 6 monthly dental check-ups and cleanings with Smile Hub Dental Clinic to maintain your optimum oral healthcare.

How do fillings differ from ceramic inlay and onlays?

Fillings are not only functional but can be aesthetic looking too. The materials of white composite fillings can vary but mostly consist of glass particles, porcelain and a synthetic resin along with a setting agent.


White fillings are not as long-lasting as inlays and onlays. White fillings also discolour and they’re not as strong in back teeth compared with ceramic inlays and onlays. The life expectancy of a white filling depends on where it is in the mouth and how heavy the patient’s bite is when the teeth meet together.

What is the procedure for getting an inlay or onlay?

This is a two stage process which differs from a routine white (composite) or metal (amalgam) filling. The damaged tooth and the surrounding gum will be numbed so that patients feel little discomfort during the procedure. A mold will be taken from an impression of your damaged tooth. This will be used as a guide for a cast. The cast will be used to produce the inlay or onlay ceramic restoration. Your dentist in Smile Hub Dental Clinic will check the fit of the porcelain inlay or onlay before securing it in place with bonding material. Any minor adjustments to the bite and polishing of the tooth can then be completed so that the finished result looks completely natural in your mouth.

Is the dental procedure for inlays and onlays painful?

No. At Smile Hub Dental Care we guarantee all of our patients a pain-free and stress-free dental experience. We use high strength local anaesthetics to ensure your comfort throughout your inlay and onlay treatment. In the 24 hours post-treatment pain is rare and is very manageable with over-the-counter medicines if required. At Smile Hub Dental Clinic, we’re Dublin’s Premier Dental Sedation Provider for nervous adults and children. We are the dental phobic patient experts!

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    01 5253888

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    Smilehub Dental Clinic, Bayside Medical Centre, Bayside Shopping Centre, Sutton, Dublin 13