Dental Inlays & Onlays

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Inlays & Onlays

Teeth with large cavities or multiple areas of decay can be restored when our dentist provides dental inlays and onlays. Also known as partial crowns, these restorations are custom-made and cemented by Dr. Leila Ebrahimpoor to fill the areas of decay in your teeth. Contact us at Skyline Dental Associates if you want to learn more about dental inlays and onlays in Ottawa.


Inlays and onlays are dental restorations that are used to repair damage or decay. If the damage is not extensive enough to warrant the use of a dental crown but is too serious to be repaired with a filling, our experienced dentist may recommend a dental inlay or onlay. Also known as partial crowns, inlays and onlays are custom created from porcelain, composite resin material or gold. Our dentist will ensure that your custom inlay or onlay perfectly fits your tooth to restore the health, function and appearance of your smile. Once placed, they are virtually undetectable in the mouth and conserve much of your natural tooth structure.

Both inlays and onlays are used to restore damaged teeth. The difference between a dental inlay and a dental onlay is that an inlay is used when the damage does not reach the cusps of the tooth, while a dental onlay is used when the damage extends to one or more of the cusps. We will help you determine whether you need a dental inlay or onlay to restore your smile.

We welcome you to get in touch with Skyline Dental in Ottawa to learn more about dental inlays and onlays. We are eager to restore your smile!
Dentist holding a model with partial dentures, gold crowns and fake teeth.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Dental inlays and onlays share a few similar traits. They are both made of strong materials which can last for decades and help preserve your teeth. Both can be made to match the unique color of your teeth to provide a natural look. They both protect teeth from further damage.

But one notable difference that separates the two is size and area. Inlays cover a small area of the tooth and sit right in the dip on top of a tooth. Onlays cover a bigger area of the tooth and cover more of the top of a tooth.

Contact us today to learn more about dental inlays and onlays!

At the initial consultation, the dentist will decide whether the patient is an ideal candidate for dental inlays and onlays. Ideally, the patient’s tooth will be too decayed or damaged for a filling, but still has enough healthy tooth remaining that a crown is not needed.

Once the dentist decides that an inlay or an onlay is the right procedure for the patient, they will introduce options for materials. The most common material is gold which has been used in dentistry for centuries and has a very good track record but tends to be less esthetical appealing. More recently, porcelain and composite resin have become a popular choice of material for their natural look. For those wanting a more discreet inlay or onlay, porcelain and composite resin can be made in any color to match surrounding teeth. This makes them incredibly desirable for use where the material would be visible or if the patient is looking for a natural esthetic.

If you are unsure if dental inlays or onlays are right for you, book a consultation with us today!

The procedures for getting inlays and onlays are very similar. The procedure will happen over two separate visits. There will be a local anesthetic used to prevent any pain during the procedure.

The first visit prepares the tooth for the inlay/onlay. The dentist freezes the area and removes the broken or decaying tooth with a drill. There will then be a cast taken of the tooth to ensure that the inlay or onlay fits as well as possible. There will be a temporary cover placed on the tooth to ensure that there is no damage before the next visit when an inlay or onlay is placed. The fabrication of the inlay or onlay can take 2-3 weeks.

At the second visit, the temporary cover will be removed and the surface will be cleaned. The dentist will then place the new inlay or onlay to ensure that it does not affect your bite. If the fit works and is comfortable, the inlay or onlay will be permanently bonded to the tooth with a special dental bond.

Once the inlays or onlays are bonded, there will be some discomfort in that area, but most people adapt to the new surface very quickly. Hot and cold foods can cause some aching and tissue near the procedure area can be sore, but usually, these symptoms do not last long. Most discomfort lasts no more than two days and can be treated with over-the-counter medications such as aspirin
Inlays and onlays can last decades if cared for properly and not abused. There is little need to worry when eating food as the structures are strong, however, we suggest that you avoid chewing ice, pits, or other very hard objects to prevent damage to the inlays or onlays. Once you have adjusted to the new surface, the inlays and onlays will become unnoticeable in day-to-day life.