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Inlays & Onlays

3D rendering of three teeth, one each with an inlay, onlay, and dental crownIn the dental world, inlays and onlays are considered possible alternatives to both dental fillings and crowns. They can replace small parts of teeth that have been damaged and removed due to advanced tooth decay. If the area of your tooth that needs to be replaced is too large for a filling but not large enough for a crown, an inlay or onlay may be considered. If you believe you are a candidate for receiving an inlay or an only, then we here at Bravo Smile would be happy to help you explore your options for fixing your bright smile.


Inlays are an alternative for fillings. They fit inside a drilled part of the tooth that does not affect much surface area. Inlays can be made of ceramic, porcelain, or a composite, and are usually stronger than a traditional filling. Inlays can repair a chewing surface on a tooth but are not intended to replace the cusps, or ridges, on your teeth.

Another benefit of inlays is that they can be colored to look just like your natural teeth. To place an inlay in your tooth, we will take an impression or 3D images of the tooth and the surrounding areas, and then have a piece of material created that will fit directly into the spot in your tooth that needs to be filled. The inlay will be attached with a bonding material that in some cases will make your tooth even stronger than it was before.


Onlays, on the other hand, are made to act similar to crowns and are even known as partial crowns. They can replace parts of your tooth that are cusps, or pointy chewing or biting surfaces. The process for creating an onlay is much the same as an inlay, where pictures, impressions, or possibly x-rays are taken and used to create a perfectly fitting prosthetic for your tooth.

Inlays and onlays both are expected to last for a long time, anywhere from 5 to 15 years and often much longer, depending on many outside factors and how well you take care of your oral hygiene. The bonding material used to set the inlay or onlay may also make your tooth stronger, preventing it from further damage or cracking, and may also prevent the tooth from acquiring more cavities.

However, inlays and onlays can still be damaged. If you grind your teeth, then we will likely recommend a bruxism device or night guard to help prevent you from cracking your restoration.

Whatever type of damage your teeth have suffered, it is best to let a knowledgeable dental professional determine what type of restoration will work best for you. Our caring team can help make the decision as to placement, materials, the process necessary for restoring your teeth to their best state. To learn more, or to set up an appointment with us, please call us here at Bravo Smile at (971) 441-5987 today and let us help you with all of your oral health needs.

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Bravo Smile
5100 S. Macadam Avenue, Suite 160
Portland, OR 97239
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Inlays & Onlays in Portland, OR
Bravo Smile, 5100 S. Macadam Avenue, Suite 160, Portland, OR 97239 • (971) 441-5987 • • 7/11/2024 • Page Keywords: Dentist Portland OR •