Healthy Teeth, confident Smiles to enjoy

Restoring broken down teeth with overlays, inlays and onlays

What is a dental overlays, inlays or onlay?

The definition is quite simple:

  • Overlays and onlays are both the same thing and cover the costs of the tooth and sit on top of the tooth, replacing the entire biting surface
  • Inlays sit in the tooth, they may or may not have contact with the opposing tooth and will not replace the entire surface

Overlays, inlays and onlays come in 2 different categories:

  1. Direct
  2. Indirect

Direct fillings

Direct overlays, inlays and onlays are made directly in your mouth by the dentist, this will be using a dental composite material, the same material we use for dental bonding.

indirect fillings

Indirect overlays, inlays and onlays are made by a dental technician, the procedure is that the dentist will remove the diseased or decayed tooth area, take an impression of the cavity and send this to the dental technician. The technician will then make the filling in the laboratory. This filling will then be returned to the dentist, usually 1 or 2 weeks later for fitting. In the interim you will have a temporary filling placed.

Overlays, inlays and onlays materials

Different materials can be used to make these overlays, inlays and onlays.

  • Gold
  • Ceramic/porcelain
  • Composite

The only material that it is possible to use directly in the mouth is composite. The dental technician can use any of the above materials to make your overlays, inlays and onlays.

Replacing old silver amalgams and broken teeth with new dental overlays