3d render of teeth with inlay, onlay and crown filling in gums

Dental Inlays & Onlays

Fillings and Crowns are not the only way to preserve a damaged tooth. If your tooth is too damaged for a filling, but not so far gone to require a crown, ask your dentist about dental inlays and onlays. They are the perfect middle ground between a filling and a crown.

What are Inlays and Onlays

Think of inlays and onlays as premolded fillings. They protect your tooth after damage and cavities like a filling would. But, they take it the extra mile. Using an impression of your teeth, inlays and onlays are molded in a lab to fit your tooth seamlessly. They are known for their durability and comfort; lasting up to thirty years. You might even forget that it isn’t your natural tooth.


Inlays fit inside the top cusps or edges of the tooth. Because of the minimal material required, they are more similar to a filling than a crown. Unlike a normal filling, an inlay is premolded to fit perfectly to the top of your tooth.


Onlays are required when the damage extends past the cusps of the tooth. It caps the top of the tooth but is not as encasing as a crown. Because onlays don’t extend to cover the entire tooth they are blended to the side of the tooth. It will be near impossible to tell that the onlay is not your original tooth.

Benefits of Inlays & Onlays

  • Conserves your tooth’s original structure
  • Made of strong, lasting materials
  • Strengthens and protects your tooth
  • Molded to fit the tooth perfectly
  • Lasts up to 30 years

Steps of the Procedure

  1. Patient is numbed and comfortable
  2. The damage is drilled from the affected tooth
  3. An impression is made of the tooth or teeth
  4. Temporary inlay or onlay is places while the mold is created
  5. Mold is made in a lab using the impression
  6. At a later appointment, the inlay/onlay is cemented into place


If you are having trouble with a filling and think an inlay or onlay might be the solution for you, give Eagle Rock Dental Care in Rexburg a call. Our trained professionals will know exactly how to get you back to a pain free bite. Don’t hesitate to contact us, especially if you are experiencing tooth pain. It is best to get ahead of the problem before it gets worse. If you are really in a bind, you can even request an appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you!