Porcelain Inlays and Onlays

Also known as “lab made fillings,” porcelain inlays and onlays offer a common middle-ground between small white fillings and full coverage dental crowns. Made in a lab, these restorations offer the added integrity of a larger restoration, while still maximizing the integrity of your healthy tooth structure. As such, they’re preferred for less invasive treatments while still enhancing the way your smile looks.

Do I Need an Inlay/Onlay?

To first understand if you need an inlay or onlay, you need to know if your tooth is past the point of repair with a filling. A few examples might include:

  • A large cavity that extends onto multiple tooth surfaces
  • Fractures or cracks in the tooth
  • Large, old metal fillings that need to be removed
  • Leaky restorations that require removing additional tooth structure

In instances such as these, a filling may not be appropriate, because there will be “more filling than tooth.” Such situations cannot withstand normal biting or chewing, and would lead to the tooth or filling breaking.

But, a full coverage dental crown might not be necessary. While a porcelain “cap” would indeed protect the tooth, it would also require reshaping and removing healthy enamel that should otherwise be left alone

A Minimally Invasive Alternative

Inlays and onlays cover approximately 2/3 to 3/4 of the tooth, hence why we sometimes refer to them as a “three-quarter crown.” This unique aspect allows our Laguna Niguel cosmetic dentist to preserve your smile, reinforce your tooth function, and enhance the appearance of your teeth all at one time.

What to Expect

Because inlays and onlays are made by hand outside of the mouth (like a crown) it requires approximately two visits to prepare and place them. Fortunately, our comfortable anesthesia and sedation options can help you relax! Call Michelle Eng, DDS today to schedule an exam to find out more.

Nervous? We Have Something for That Too

Ask about our safe and comfortable sedation options to help you relax throughout your smile makeover or other dental work. We’re here to help you feel comfortable! Flexible financing plans are available. Contact Michelle Eng, DDS in Aliso Viejo to schedule your smile makeover consultation.



Suzan S
Suzan S
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Always have a great experience! On Time. Professional. Educational. Friendly.
Christine E
Christine E
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While having my teeth worked on always brings some degree of trepidation, Dr. Michelle Eng helps to remove all anxiety. She is a gentle, caring, and overall fantastic dentist.

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