Shoreline Family Dental Logo

Maria Hoekstra, D.D.S., F.A.G.D.
Jacqueline Anderson, D.D.S.
Thomas E. Anderson, D.D.S.


Our Office Hours are:

Monday: 8am-5pm
Tuesday: 8am-5pm
Wednesday: 8am-5pm
Thursday: 8am-5pm
Friday: 7am-1pm

Inlays and Onlays

When more than half of the tooth’s biting surface is damaged an inlay or onlay is done to restore the tooth. An inlay is very similar to a filling, and is confined within the cusps of the tooth. An onlay is a more substantial restoration, extending and covering one or more cusps of the teeth.

What are inlays and onlays and how are they done?

Inlays and onlays can be done in either gold or porcelain, depending on the patients’ cosmetic needs. The damaged areas of the teeth are removed and an impression is taken of the preparation. Two weeks later the inlay or onlay is cemented onto the tooth structure, like a piece to a puzzle.

Both inlays and onlays give us the opportunity to restore a tooth to its optimal function and at the same time save as much of the original tooth structure as possible. When they are cemented on the tooth they become a part of the tooth and offer tremendous strength.

Traditional fillings can reduce the strength of a natural tooth by up to 50%. However, inlays and onlays which are bonded directly onto the tooth, with the use of resins, can actually increase the strength of a tooth by up to 75%. They can potentially last up to 30 years. In some cases where the damage to the tooth is not extensive enough to justify a full coverage crown, onlays offer a good alternative.