Resin Inlays and Onlays

There are two types of inlays and onlays: direct and indirect. Direct inlays and onlays are made in the dental office. They are placed in one visit. Indirect inlays and onlays are made in a laboratory. Two visits are needed to place them. The type your dentist will use depends on how much of the tooth is left. It also depends on how obvious the inlay or onlay will be to other people.

Direct Inlays and Onlays

Your dentist will remove the decay and shape the tooth. He or she will put a soft material called composite resin on the tooth. The composite resin is molded to fit the tooth. The inlay is removed and hardened in a special oven. Then, your dentist will cement the hardened inlay to your tooth. After the inlay is cemented, it will be polished. Your dentist may have to shape it slightly to adjust the way your teeth come together.
There is also new technology which allows the dentist to have a ceramic inlay or onlay made in the office and cemented on at the same visit.

Indirect Inlays and Onlays

Your dentist will remove the decay. He or she then will make an impression of the prepared tooth and neighboring teeth. The tooth will get a temporary filling. The impression will be sent to a laboratory, which will make the inlay or onlay.
At your second visit, your dentist will take out the temporary filling and clean the tooth. He or she will cement the inlay or onlay to the tooth. Then, it will be polished. Your dentist may have to shape it slightly to adjust the way your teeth come together.