Restore Moderate Dental Damage with Inlays and Onlays


Inlays and onlays are a restorative treatment typically recommended for treating teeth with mild to moderate decay. As an intermediate step between dental fillings and crowns, these restorations can correct fractures, chips, or cracks that fit within or extend just beyond the cusps of a tooth. Dr. Neil L. Starr of Washington, D.C. provides durable inlays and onlays that can prolong the life of a tooth. Internationally renowned for his excellence in restorative and cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Starr provides top-tier care in a welcoming environment using the latest advanced dental technologies.

What Are Inlays and Onlays?

A dental inlay is designed to repair damage or decay in the indented surface of a tooth. They are fitted into the grooves of a tooth, much like a puzzle piece, without extending beyond the cusps.

Inlay versus onlay

A dental onlay is sometimes referred to as a partial crown and are used to treat larger areas of damage or decay. It is typically placed on the chewing surface of a tooth and can extend to one or more cusps.

The Benefits of Dental Inlays and Onlays

When considering dental inlays and onlays, it is important to understand the advantages they offer:

  • Dental inlays and onlays are durable. Inlays and onlays are made of sturdy, high-quality dental materials that can last for years. These restorations can be crafted from composite resin, porcelain, and even gold.
  • Both can prevent future dental surgeries. Dental inlays and onlays can help prolong the life of a tooth, eliminating the possible need for more invasive dental treatments in the future.

How are Inlays and Onlays Applied?

In most cases, inlays and onlays can be placed in two office visits. During the first appointment, the tooth is prepared and impressions are taken to create the restoration. During the second, the restoration is placed.

In most cases, inlays and onlays can be placed in two office visits.

At your first appointment, the tooth will first be numbed with local anesthesia. Then, the dentist will prepare by removing any existing decay. Once the damage has been removed and the tooth shaped, Dr. Starr can then take dental impressions. These molds are sent to a trusted dental lab where a skilled technician can fabricate your inlay or onlay. To protect the tooth in the meantime, a temporary filling is then placed until the permanent restoration is finished.

Once the custom restoration is complete, you can return to the office for your second appointment. There, the doctor will bond it to the tooth using a special dental cement. Daily brushing, flossing, and bi-annual cleanings will help with the longevity and preservation of the inlay or onlay.

Repair Your Teeth Today

If you are looking for a viable option to address tooth decay or dental damage, an inlay or onlay may be the solution for you. A fellow of the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry, Dr. Starr uses innovative technologies and methods for accurate, personalized care. Dr. Starr is also a renowned author and lecturer on various dental treatments and comprehensive restorative procedures, practices, and methods. 

Contact Dr. Starr of Washington D.C. for your inquiry about inlays and onlays today. We can help you find a solution to fit your unique needs and preferences.