Here at Geelan Dental Care, we conduct procedures such as root canals and tooth decay removal. Such procedures often leave a tooth with a cavity. The cavity can be filled up with fillings, or inlays and onlays. Inlays or onlays are pieces of prosthetics that are used to fill up tooth cavities. An inlay is used when the cavity has not distorted the top cusps and lining of the tooth. In a case of severe damages where a tooth has lost its shape, onlays are used to restore the shape. The onlay is made with a top surface that resembles that of a real tooth. Inlays and onlays are majorly used on the premolars and molars.

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Premolars and molars are susceptible to tooth decay and tooth cavities. Inlays and onlays are quite effective in restoring them to their normal functions after they have been damaged. Inlays and onlays are modeled at our office, just like the rest of the prosthetic teeth.

We always try to save a tooth before we opt for extracting it. Inlays and onlays enable us to save people’s natural teeth instead of extracting them. A tooth will strengthen after the inlay or onlay has been placed, and it can function just like a natural tooth. Inlays and onlays are always simple and quick solutions for teeth cavities.


As mentioned above, inlays and onlays are used after tooth decay removal or root canal procedures. The problematic tooth has to be treated and completely disinfected before the inlay or onlay is attached. Our dentist may also have to file or drill the tooth a little bit as well. This is done to shape it in preparation for setting the prosthetic piece properly.

Also, filling and drilling are necessary when the tooth has been fractured or broken as a result of trauma. Our dentist has to ensure all loose chippings have been removed. If the cusp of the tooth has been damaged, our dentist shapes the tooth as an abutment on which the onlay will be anchored. They must also first ensure that the tooth is still strongly rooted.

After our dentist has properly prepared the tooth, they will take an impression of the cavity to model the inlay or onlay. For the onlays, an impression of the top surface of a similar tooth on the other side of the jaw has to be taken. It will help in modeling the cusp for the onlay.

You can have a temporary inlay or onlay placed into the cavity immediately after the treatment procedures, as you wait for the permanent one to be modeled. The inlays and onlays are made of ceramic, porcelain, silver or gold. Each of these materials has a different appearance, but they are all biocompatible. Your choice should depend on how you want your tooth to appear and how much money you have.

Get in touch with Geelan Dental Care at (503) 223-1322. Make a call, and someone will be available to assist.