Dental Inlays & Onlays


As part of our comprehensive dental care offerings, Pearl Street Dental offers dental inlays and onlays as a solution to damaged or decayed teeth. We understand that each smile is unique, and we are here to cater to your specific dental needs. Whether you're looking to restore a damaged tooth, improve your smile, or enhance your chewing capabilities, we can rebuild your teeth with precision, delivering optimal results without compromising your oral health.

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What Are Dental Inlays and Onlays?

Inlays and onlays are types of dental restorations used to repair rear teeth that have mild to moderate tooth decay or damage. They offer a well-fitting, stronger, and longer-lasting solution to tooth decay or similar damage compared to traditional metal fillings.

Inlays and onlays are known as indirect dental restorations since they're fabricated outside the mouth before being fitted and bonded onto the damaged tooth. Used to repair teeth with mild to moderate decay or damage in their biting surface, they offer a robust, virtually invisible solution that can last between 10 to 30 years, with suitable care.

dental inlay
dental onlay

What’s the Difference Between a Dental Inlay and Onlay?

Although dental inlays and onlays serve similar objectives, they're used under different circumstances. Their main difference lies in the area of coverage. Inlays are used to treat decay within the indented top surfaces, also known as the cusps, of a tooth.

On the other hand, onlays, or partial crowns, are used when the damage extends beyond the tooth's cusps. Onlays cover one or more cusps, depending on the extent of the decay. They're often used when damage is sizable and there's not enough tooth structure to support a regular filling but not extensive enough to necessitate a crown.

Inlays and Onlays vs. Crowns or Fillings

In comparison to traditional treatments like crowns or fillings, inlays and onlays have distinct advantages. They play a conservative role in dental restoration, preserving natural tooth structure whenever possible, making them less invasive. As they’re made from durable materials such as porcelain, they can sometimes increase the strength of a tooth by up to 75%.

In contrast, direct fillings, which are packed into a tooth, can reduce the tooth’s strength significantly, while a dental crown involves substantial tooth reshaping and removal. Inlays and onlays have superior fitting properties, given they’re made from a single piece of material that fits the tooth precisely, reducing the possibility of bacteria leakage and recurrent decay.

ADditional Restorative Services we Provide


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Dental Fillings

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Dental Crowns

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Learn More About Your Options For Restoring Damaged Teeth

Don’t let tooth damage or decay keep you from having a confident, healthy smile. Contact Pearl Street Dental in Boulder to schedule an appointment to find out if inlays or onlays are right for you!

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