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Inlays and Onlays at Wellness Dental Bronte

When you don’t need a full dental crown, inlays and onlays are a great option to save as much tooth structure and healthy enamel as possible. Some people refer to them as three-quarter crowns or lab-made fillings, because of the way they’re designed.

Illustration of dental onlay

What are Onlays?

An onlay goes over your tooth, when there’s a significant portion that needs to be re-built, such as the cusps on the chewing surfaces. They protect the underlying structure when you chew or put pressure on it. Onlays are ideal in situations where there’s not as great of a chance of fractures or damage from everyday use.

In most cases, onlays are made of porcelain. They can sometimes be designed from resin, but this material isn’t as durable and usually needs to be replaced more often. We prefer using the same material that we would use if it were a traditional full coverage crown.

Illustration of dental inlay

What is an Inlay?

Unlike onlays which go over a tooth, inlays go inside of it. They can be made out of porcelain or gold, depending on the situation and tooth that needs to be repaired. Being that inlays fill in large areas, they’re ideal when a tooth has too much structural damage to be repaired with a conventional filling.

Porcelain inlays are durable enough to provide the strength that significantly decaying teeth need. They make it possible to fill in large areas inside of a tooth, without jeopardising the remaining enamel around it. We frequently use inlays to add strength to or close in gaps between teeth.

The Treatment Process

Getting a dental inlay or onlay is similar to what you would expect if you’re having a crown made. The process is completed over the course of two separate appointments.

During the first visit, we’ll shape the tooth and then take a scan or mould, which is sent to our lab in Australia (where your permanent restoration is made). To make sure you’re comfortable, we’ll use a local anaesthetic to thoroughly numb your tooth during this prep visit.

In the meantime, you’ll wear a temporary inlay/onlay for a few days.

After a short period of time, you’ll come back to have the temporary taken out and the permanent inlay/onlay tried in place. We’ll make sure that everything fits and lines up properly, then use a permanent cement to fuse the restoration to your tooth.

Care and Maintenance

It’s important to brush and floss around your inlays and onlays daily. Although they can’t develop decay, it’s possible for bacteria to build up along the margins and affect the tooth enamel in those areas. Should recurrent decay form, it can cause leakage around your inlay/onlay, causing it to fail. Fortunately, with good home care, your lab made restoration can last for several more years.

Lab Made Fillings

Preserve your smile’s integrity and enjoy quality treatments with Inlays and Onlays Bronte. Contact us to learn more about three-quarter crowns and lab-made fillings.


* Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.


Dental Inlays and Onlays Bronte, Clovelly, Waverley, Bondi NSW | (02) 9131 4112