Inlays and Onlays

Topanga Dentistry offers an extensive variety of restorative dentistry solutions. Among those offerings include inlays and onlays. These dental restorations restore parts of the tooth or a deteriorated filling.  Typically, inlays and onlays are used to maintain the remaining sound portion of a tooth’s structure.  Recently there has been a resurgence of interest in them because there is less permanent work done on the tooth.

What Is The Difference Between Inlays & Onlays?

Both inlays and onlays serve to protect the healthy part of a tooth and strengthen its structure.  However, the two restorative methods approach different parts of a damaged tooth.  Inlays are effective fixes for damage that has occurred between the cusps tips of tooth, particularly in a premolar’s or molar’s pits.  On the other hand, onlays are designed to handle more profound damage, especially when that damage goes beyond the cusps of the tooth.  During your dental exam, we’ll identify any minor or extensive damage to your teeth and formulate the best plan to restore the health and functionality of your teeth.  If we recommend an inlay or onlay, we’ll show you exactly why it is the best approach.

Onlays and inlays are a more conservative approach to restoring a cavity, chip or fracture. No substance is a perfect replacement for natural tooth.  Consequently, we prefer using onlays and inlays in certain situations where much of the natural tooth can remain unscathed.  Our dental team has successfully used inlays and onlays to treat:

  • Teeth with excessive decay
  • A broken or fractured tooth
  • Existing large filling that has marginal breakdown of filling material and/or significant decay
  • Improvement of the overall aesthetics


The Dr. Maria Saguin has extensive knowledge and working experience in the placement and creation of inlays and onlays.  If you suspect that you may need this type of dental restoration, call us to get more information and to schedule an appointment.