Tooth inlays and onlays

Tooth coloured fillings are suitable for small to medium sized cavities/holes in back teeth. In instances where there is very little tooth surface left, your dentist may advise you to have a tooth coloured inlay.

An inlay is like a jigsaw piece that fits and restores the missing portion of your tooth. An onlay sits on top of the tooth to restore the shape and function of your tooth. Dental inlays and onlays are both made in the laboratory by a highly skilled dental technician.

They can be metal or tooth coloured depending on what your dentist feels is the best way to restore your tooth. Metal inlays/onlays are usually made of a gold alloy, these are not aesthetically as pleasing as tooth coloured inlays/onlays but in some situations are necessary in cases where bruxism (tooth grinding) has lead to the loss of a considerable amount of tooth subsatnce. Tooth coloured inlays/onlays are usually made of porcelain/composite and these give the best aesthetic appearance.

What happens during my procedure?

Your dentist will anaesthetise (numb) the tooth and will remove the dental caries (dental decay) and then prepare the cavity to receive the inlay/onlay. An impression will be taken and this will be sent to the laboratory where your dental inlay/onlay will be carefully constructed.

Your dentist will temporise your tooth until your dental inlay/onlay is ready for cementation. This usually takes between a week to ten days from preparation to fit.

At the fitting appointment you may need to be anaesthised (numbed) again, your dentist will then remove the temporary restoration and bond in your new dental inlay/onlay with cement. Your final restoration will be checked for correct occlusion (bite) and fit.

Information for Patients

Covid-19 and Dental Services

We are committed to  protecting our staff and patients, and have adapted our existing practices to make it as Covid secure as possible.

We are screening all patients for symptoms of Covid-19 prior to their visit, and are delighted to introduce our online patient portal, so you can access the forms we would routinely update in the comfort of your own home. This helps us reduce the number of patients in the practice and your time during face to face appointments.

We will ask you to wear a face mask prior to entry unless you are exempt for any reason. Please be aware, we treat extremely clinically  vulnerable patients and are trying to protect them as much as possible.

If you have any symptoms of Covid-19 or feel unwell for any reason, please do inform a member of our team and we can adjust our procedures accordingly to protect our team and other patients.

For advice and treatment outside of our normal working hours please phone The Lancashire Dental Helpline on 0300 1234 010.

We have provided some emergency care advice for our patients to help:

For public information please use the link:

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