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Inlays & Onlays


Woman smiling with perfect teethDental inlays and onlays are a great alternative to fillings and can help improve your overall dental structure. After getting a cavity removed, an inlay is placed directly inside the tooth to replace the loss of structure due to decay. Similarly, onlays are also placed on the inside of teeth but expand outwards onto the chewing surface to replace a cusp in a molar. At Stansell Dentistry Associates, our team can help you determine whether an onlay or inlay is the most suitable option for you.

What Is the Difference Between a Dental Inlay and Onlay?


After a small cavity is removed, our dentist needs to finish the job with a filling or inlay to help seal the tooth. While inlays were traditionally gold metal, they are now alternatives for traditional aluminum-alloy, gold, or other traditional metal fillings. Most inlay procedures use a tooth-colored material such as porcelain or ceramic composite to blend with the natural surrounding tooth color, making patients satisfied with the results. Inlays are often recommended since they also form a bonding process with the surrounding tooth, often strengthening and tightly sealing it.

Dental onlays share many similarities with an inlay, in that it’s used as a filling material and uses the same tooth-colored composite material. However, onlays are used when more extensive decaying occurred on your tooth, causing moderate-to-severe damage during the removal process. To help get your molars back to shape, an onlay is placed inside the filling and extends outward onto the actual surface of the tooth. This allows our professionals to recreate the cusp of your molars, giving it a like-new feel. They also use the same bonding process as inlays, which aids in strengthening and sealing your tooth. The seals are often so tight that no bacteria nor debris can make its way back into your tooth.

Benefits of Inlay and Onlay Procedures


While inlays and onlays provide similar functions as a filling, they serve as a much more solid alternative. Fillings are known to both expand and contract over time. The constant expansion and contraction can weaken your tooth, causing it to either fracture or the filling can be lost completely. A lost filling or cracked tooth leads to more pain and an additional visit to get it resealed. Onlays and inlays do not expand nor contract, which gives you added peace of mind that they won’t fall out or weaken your tooth enough to fracture over time.

Dental onlays and inlays also strengthen your teeth, whereas fillings have been shown to weaken your tooth. Studies have shown that fillings can weaken your teeth by up to fifty percent, leading to further work and repair on teeth over time. Meanwhile, dental onlays and inlays can improve the strength of your teeth significantly. This means fewer visits to the dentist, saving you both time and money long-term.

Determining whether a filling, crown, onlay, or inlay is best for you depends on the overall damage suffered from tooth decay. Our team at Stansell Dentistry Associates can guide you to the best solution for your case. Give our team a call today to schedule an appointment at 984-477-0177.

Locations & Hours


Brier Creek




10207 Cerny Street, Ste 106
Raleigh, NC 27617

Phone: 984-477-0177
Fax: 919-249-1375

Office Hours
Mon: 8:30am - 6:30pm
Tues: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Wed: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Thur: 7:30am - 4:30pm
Fri: 8:00am - 2:00pm

North Raleigh




1911 Falls Valley Drive, Ste 107
Raleigh, NC 27615

Phone: 984-206-4242
Fax: 919-249-2145

Office Hours
Mon: 8:30am - 6:30pm
Tues: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Wed: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Thur: 7:30am - 4:30pm
Fri: 8:00am - 2:00pm

Knightdale




1101 Great Falls Ct, Ste 102
Knightdale, NC 27545

Phone: 984-733-0330
Fax: 919-415-1849

Office Hours
Mon: 8:30am - 6:30pm
Tues: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Wed: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Thur: 7:30am - 4:30pm
Fri: 8:00am - 2:00pm

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Stansell Dentistry Associates, 10207 Cerny Street, Ste 106, Raleigh, NC 27617-4879; 984-477-0177; stanselldentistry.com; 7/20/2021; Key Phrases: dentist Raleigh NC; dentist Raleigh NC;