Do You Need An InLay Or Onlay?

engelberginlayonlayAs we’ve discussed in previous blogs, damaged teeth always need repair. Otherwise decay or infection could set in, leading to potentially serious complications. While we often recommend a filling or a crown, sometimes the damage is limited to the top of the teeth and requires more than a filling. In these situations, you may need an inlay or an onlay.

When Should You See a Dentist?

Aside from your routine six-month visits, you should see a dentist when a tooth becomes damaged or painful. If you chip a tooth, this can expose the sensitive inner structure to bacteria, allowing decay and potentially even infection to form. Likewise, sudden discomfort, such as toothaches or sensitivity, could be a warning sign of a problem that requires restorative treatment.


While a crown covers the entire tooth and a filling only address the decayed segment, an inlay and onlay address the tops of the tooth and strengthen the remaining structure. You also maintain more of your natural tooth than you would with a crown. An inlay is placed between the cusps of the teeth. Using CEREC technology, the entire procedure takes just a single visit. The dentist first removes decay and prepares the tooth. The doctor then takes an impression and photographs. The CEREC machine then uses a 3D model to mill the new restoration during the same appointment.


An onlay is used to repair the cusps of the teeth. Like inlays, the restoration is made from a strong and lifelike material, porcelain, and can strengthen the tooth. Fabrication and placement then takes just one visit. The onlay safeguards the tooth against further decay or infection. If you have any questions about our restorations or if you would like to schedule a visit then please contact our office today.


Dr. Brent Engelberg and his highly-skilled team proudly serve patients and their families from Arlington Heights, IL, and all surrounding communities, including: Northbrook, Deerfield, Highland Park, Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Vernon Hills, Lincolnshire, Libertyville, Skokie, Evanston, Palatine, Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village, Rolling Meadows, and the Northern and Northwest Chicago Suburbs. To learn more, schedule a consultation online, or call our office today at 847-259-8030.

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