Inlays and Onlays

If you have a larger filling, or perhaps a broken cusp on a tooth, we may want to consider a porcelain inlay or onlay! These restorations are a simple and effective treatment, and in some cases are an excellent alternative to a complete porcelain crown. Let’s talk about what inlays and onlays are about, and whether it’s right for you!


At Grand Street Dental in Williamsburg, NYC, we offer inlays and onlays if you have damage or tooth decay within the cusp of a tooth. An inlay is used similarly to a traditional filling, but looks much more genuine. An onlay is necessary for a significant reconstruction, where it extends out over one or more cusps of the tooth. Often, inlays may replace traditional fillings that failed or fell out, since they are more durable.



During your first visit, the damaged tooth is cleaned and prepared for the 3D digital scan. Within seconds your teeth are rendered into a digital model and sent to our lab technician to uniquely create an inlay or onlay for your tooth. Dr. Plotnick will fabricate a temporary filling for your tooth to for protection before your final visit.


At your second appointment, your custom inlay or onlay is ready to be placed on the damaged tooth. Dr. Plotnick will make sure that the fit and esthetics is approved and will cement it permanently. It’s that simple!

Our team at Grand Street Dental will be happy to help answer any questions or concerns you may have about inlays, onlays, or dental concerns. Don’t hesitate us to contact us today to schedule your appointment in our Brooklyn, NYC office.


What is the difference between an inlay and an onlay filling?

A dental inlay covers the inside of the cusp rather than the whole surface. An inlay only covers the damaged portion of the tooth. A dental onlay covers the entire cusp of the tooth. This protects the whole chewing surface.

How long do dental inlays and onlays last?

On average, these restorations last 20-30 years. After this time, you may need to get the repair replaced.

When will my Dentist recommend an inlay?

Dental inlays are recommended when damage is too extensive for a filling but not severe enough for a dental crown.

Will my tooth hurt after I get a dental onlay/inlay?

You can expect tooth sensitivity for a few days after your appointment. Nerve sensitivity can persist beyond two weeks for heavily compromised teeth.

Can you eat after an inlay or onlay?

For the first 24 hours after your procedure, eating soft foods, sticking to water, and avoiding hot and cold foods is best. This can prevent irritation to the gums and the treated tooth.

How much natural tooth is needed for an onlay/inlay?

Patients must have enough of their natural tooth to support the restoration. Onlays can cover and require up to 75% of the natural tooth. A dental inlay requires less than half of the natural tooth.