Dental inlays and onlays are minimally invasive cosmetic dental procedures that are used to restore a decayed or damaged tooth to its original condition and can actually strengthen it. They are a more conservative approach than a dental crown because they don’t involve the removal of healthy tooth structure — and for this reason, many patients find them to be a preferable option. A crown involves the removal of more of the healthy tooth structure than is needed and can therefore increase the risk of tooth fracture and the need for a root canal treatment.
Inlays and onlays can often be used in place of traditional dental fillings to treat tooth decay or similar structural damage. Unlike dental fillings, which are molded into place within the mouth during a dental visit, inlays and onlays are fabricated indirectly in a dental lab before being fitted and bonded to the damaged tooth by your dentist.