Inlays and Onlays

What does this mean?

If you suffer from a hole in your tooth or molar then a filling is often the solution. With a small hole this is no problem at all but with larger holes an inlay or an onlay is a better solution. With a larger hole there is a chance that the filling will fall out again. With inlays and onlays you do not have this problem.


What are inlays and onlays?

An inlay is a customized filling that fits exactly in the hole. An onlay is partially placed over the tooth. Both are made to measure and are stronger than a filling. They are made of strong material such as porcelain, titanium, gold, ceramic or galvanic ceramic.

Inlays and onlays are a good solution if you suffer from a hole that cannot be remedied with a filling. A crown is often the first thought but inlays and onlays are a good alternative. They can fix your hole without having to sharpen a large part of your natural teeth.


When do you choose an inlay or an onlay?

In the case of a hole, there are various solutions to solve this problem. If it is a small hole, a filling is often the best solution. This is relatively cheap, quick and easy to install. However, a composite filling makes the tooth or molar less strong. With a small hole no problem but with a larger hole the filling can break off quickly.

That is why it is often advised to opt for a crown in that case. A crown is quite expensive and therefore a dental treatment that is often delayed. It is therefore nice that there is a solution that offers a solution. The inlay or onlay. In the case of a larger hole in the tooth or molar, this can provide a solution without the need for a crown.

A disadvantage of a crown is that your tooth is sharpened. That means that less of your natural tooth remains while we actually want to save that tooth. Nothing is sharpened with an inlay or an onlay. Your teeth remain intact as much as possible. The dentist will measure the hole in your tooth or choose and let a dental technician make an inlay or onlay that fits exactly in or on it.

This way your hole is completely sealed in a sustainable way without damaging your teeth.

Choose the right dental treatment for a hole:

  • Little hole; choose a composite filling
  • Medium hole: choose an inlay or an onlay
  • Insufficient support for an inlay or onlay: choose a crown


Difference inlay and onlay

The difference between an inlay and an onlay has to do with the way the hole is closed. An inlay is an insert that fits exactly in the hole. This while the onlay works more around the tooth. This makes it immediately clear that an inlay is used for a hole in the chewing surface, on top of the molar or on the bottom of the molar. The onlay focuses on holes in the chewing surface and the sides of the tooth.


Inlay or onlay treatment

When you have decided with the dentist that an inlay or an onlay is the best solution for your cavity then the treatment will start. An inlay or onlay treatment takes place in 3 simple steps:


Step 1: Investigation hole

It all starts with the dentist’s observation of the hole. The hole may be noticed during the periodic check. A filling is often the first choice, but if it appears that a filling will not be sufficiently strong, other solutions will be considered. We will of course discuss this jointly and, if opting for inlays or onlays, we will make a new appointment for this.


Step 2: Measuring the hole

During this appointment we prepare the hole for placing the inlay or onlay. For this the hole is made ready for the inlay or onlay. For this, birth or sharpening can take place, but no more than necessary. this way as much of your natural tooth as possible remains intact. As soon as the tooth is ready for the inlay, an impression is made of the hole. This print is sent to the dental technician who makes a customized inlay or onlay for you. In the meantime, you will receive an emergency refill for the period until the inlay or onlay is definitively placed.


Step 3: Placing the inlay or onlay

The last dental appointment serves to permanently place the inlay or onlay. For this we use the latest gluing technique and a microscope. We must be very focused. The temporary filling is removed and the inlay or onlay is firmly attached. You have chosen the color of the inlay or onlay when measuring the hole. This way you get the result that you are proud of.


Advantages of an inlay or onlay

When you choose an inlay or an onlay, this brings a number of advantages. The most important advantage is probably that an inlay or an onlay will last a very long time. You can generally enjoy an inlay or onlay for up to 30 years. You can choose the color of your inlay or onlay yourself. For example, you can opt for an invisible solution but also for example gold if you indicate your preference.


Cost of an inlay or onlay

As stated earlier, the choice for an inlay or onlay is cheaper than a crown but more expensive than the choice for a filling. However, the exact costs for an inlay or onlay are difficult to specify. Every hole requires a different inlay or onlay. This therefore has its influence on the costs of the dentist. Of course you will receive a cost estimate from the dentist in advance with the costs that you can expect for an inlay or onlay.


Inlay or onlay reimbursements

If you have an inlay or onlay placed then this will not be reimbursed from the basic insurance. If you have supplemental dental insurance, it may be that the costs are partially reimbursed by your insurer. This depends on the conditions of your policy.


Make an appointment for the placement of inlays or onlays

Do you have the idea that you have a hole? Then come along for a check. The dentist will then examine whether a filling, inlay, onlay or a crown is the right solution for your dental problem. Even if you know that you need an inlay or onlay, you can of course make an appointment. We are happy to help you get rid of your hole.