Inlays – Onlays

Inlays and onlays are an alternative to treating tooth decay or tooth fracture. They are particularly suitable for relatively large lesions of the chewing surface in posterior teeth (molars and precursors). Inserts and overlays are made from all-ceramic (porcelain) or synthetic resin orally in the dental laboratory and are then welded to the mouth by the dentist. The use of an insert / overlay is the best solution when the extent of the damage does not allow for safe recovery with a synthetic resin or amalgam seal but the wear is not so extensive as to require the tooth to be completely covered with a pouch.

They can also be used to replace old metal seals in the back teeth, offering increased durability and better appearance. Your dentist will suggest you the most appropriate choice between a simple seal, a pouch, or an insert / padding based on the type of tooth and the location and extent of the damage.


Inlays are called restorations that refer to the space in the center of the chewing surface, without covering any of the tops (cusps) of the tooth.


Onlays are called restorations that extend to at least one or more tops of the tooth. They are usually larger than inserts and can even replace the entire chewy surface of the tooth.