Dental Inlays and Onlays in Scottsdale

When a filling is not enough but a crown is not required, dental inlays and onlays are an excellent solution to repair your teeth


Fix That Damaged Tooth Today!

Crowns and fillings are the most common treatments for repairing cavities and dental decay. Lesser known, dental inlays and onlays also offer an effective solution to improving your damaged teeth. Fillings are often used to fill in small cavities, while crowns are used to remedy deep decay after a root canal procedure. Inlays and onlays are more substantial than fillings but not as extensive as a crown covering. Dr. Sheth will recommend a dental crown in Scottsdale when you need to restore the whole tooth as it fits over it like a cap. An inlay restores only a small portion of the tooth, similar to a dental filling. Learn more about inlays and onlays by scheduling a consultation today.

What is the Difference Between Inlays and Onlays?

An inlay fills a cavity in between or on the surface of your tooth. An onlay will fill a much larger surface of the tooth without covering it entirely as a crown would. Inlays and onlays are both made from the same composite, tooth-colored material.


Inlays are molded and fitted onto the chewing surface of a tooth when necessary to repair damage or decay. An inlay is custom made to fit your tooth’s surface and is typically constructed of composite material, although manufacturers can also make them from porcelain. Inlays generally are much stronger than traditional fillings due to their size and custom manufacture. Inlays are also more expensive than fillings because of the custom nature, but they also tend to last much longer than composite fillings.


Onlays are used when a dentist needs to repair the entire chewing surface of a tooth or space between two teeth due to decay or damage. Additionally, you may require an onlay when composite fillings begin to fail or the dentist is concerned that the tooth structure is compromised. The natural tooth is no longer strong enough to accommodate a traditional composite filling. An onlay acts as strong as a crown but preserves your existing tooth’s structure more than a crown, which requires shaving of the tooth before application. For this reason, onlays are often called “partial crowns.”

Benefits of Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are durable and long-lasting, with a life expectancy of 10-20 years. The better the patient’s oral hygiene, the longer the inlay or onlay will last. While you can expect to pay more for an inlay or onlay than for a filling, the cost of an inlay or onlay may be substantially less than a crown or similar dental restoration procedure such as an implant.

During treatment, most patients do not require sedation for the application of inlays or onlays. However, if you are nervous or concerned about the time necessary to treat your tooth damage, our Scottsdale, AZ office can arrange for sedation service for qualifying patients.

When Do We Recommend an Inlay or Onlay in Scottsdale?

The reasons Dr. Sheth recommends inlays or onlays varies with each patient’s specific needs. Some of the indications are:

  • Decayed teeth
  • Replacing partially or fully broken teeth
  • Worn teeth
  • Bite improvement
  • Large broken or worn old restorations
  • Cosmetic or appearance enhancement

The Procedure for Dental Inlays & Onlays

An on-lay or inlay restoration usually involves two appointments. The first appointment includes capturing the current condition of the tooth through a series of highly accurate impressions.

Dr. Sheth begins by cleaning and preparing the tooth, and then it is reshaped to provide an optimum fit for the new onlay, inlay, or crown. A temporary restoration is created and shaped to fit the tooth so that it is protected while a trusted dental lab crafts the final restoration.

Your temporary restoration is removed at your second appointment, and the final onlay or inlay is cemented into place. Small adjustments are made to ensure an accurate fit and that your bite is comfortable.

See If Inlays or Onlays Can Repair Your Damaged Tooth

If you need a tooth restored, Dr. Sheth will review your options with you and help you select the treatment that best suits your needs. The materials he uses are both durable and aesthetically-pleasing, so you can rest assured that your restoration will be one that you can rely on and be proud of for many years to come. Contact Scottsdale Dental Solutions today at (480) 535-5634

a tooth with an inlay and onlay

Contact Us To Learn More About Inlays & Onlays

Meet Dr. Rajan K Sheth, DDS

Dr. Rajan Sheth is a leader in the field of restorative and implant dentistry in the Phoenix metro area. He has rehabilitated thousands of patients and maintains a simple vision of "Fear Free Dentistry" and "No one should have to suffer wearing a denture or the embarrassment of missing teeth."

He focuses his scope of practice on comprehensive restorative dentistry with a strong focus on IV sedation, extractions, dental implants, dentures, bone reconstruction, implant supported dentures, full mouth dental implants and immediate teeth in a day dental services. Dr. Sheth has been routinely doing tooth extractions from simple cases, to complete boney extractions in private practice since 2011 and considered one of the best dentists in Scottsdale and the Phoenix, AZ areas.

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