inlays and Onlays in Houston, TX

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About Inlays and Onlays

Classified between a tooth-colored filling and a full crown, an inlay or onlay can repair a decayed or damaged tooth. Treated on pre-molars and molars at Michael A. Macaluso, D.D.S., PC, an inlay covers the indented middle of a tooth and an onlay covers a tooth's rounded, upper edges. Like fillings and crowns, onlays and inlays can be created with different materials — composite resin, porcelain, and metal. Inlays are restorations for inside the cusp tips of the tooth. Onlays, on the other hand, are placed when decay or damage extends further but not enough to warrant a crown. If an old filling needs to be removed, inlays or onlays are also commonly used as a replacement. The materials used for both treatments are resilient and can last many years.

Our general and cosmetic dentist, Dr. Michael Macaluso, can help you understand the differences between crowns, fillings, onlays, and inlays to make the best choice for your teeth. Book an appointment at our Houston, TX practice to get started.

Best Candidates

An inlay or onlay is a fantastic option when you've cracked a tooth or developed a large cavity that's too big for a filling but does not require a crown. At your exam, Dr. Macaluso may take an x-ray before selecting your treatment. If an onlay or inlay is chosen, he will discuss the available materials for your treatment.

What To Expect

Digital impressions will be produced from that area of your teeth for the inlay or onlay to be made. A temporary restoration will be put in its place until the dental lab returns your inlay or onlay.

We will have you in for a second appointment as soon as your inlay or onlay is ready. You may discuss numbing and sedation options during your treatment planning session. Dr. Macaluso will carefully remove the temporary. He will then set and bond the custom restoration made just for your tooth. Lastly, he will polish the borders or adjust the surface edges so that your tooth is suitably fitted and feels right.


You might experience mild discomfort, swelling, or sensitivity for a couple of days once your onlay or inlay is placed. Please call our office should you experience any issues following your treatment. Your inlay or onlay can be cared for, like your own teeth, by flossing and brushing. You need to schedule your yearly dental examination and twice-yearly cleanings at Michael A. Macaluso, D.D.S., PC so we can evaluate the wear and health of the inlay or onlay. With appropriate maintenance, it should last for several years before you need a repair or replacement.

Discover new options

Regardless of whether you pick an onlay or inlay, metal or ceramic, indirect or direct, it is important to deal with the damaged tooth before it turns into an issue. Find out more about inlays and onlays by making an appointment at Michael A. Macaluso, D.D.S., PC in Houston, TX today.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.