When a tooth has been broken, chipped, or decayed, patients in the Paxton and Worcester, MA area have a variety of options for restoring health and function to the tooth. Depending on the extent of the damage, Dr. Scott Siemen, dentist at Paxton Dental Care, may recommend dental inlays or onlays.

Google review for Inlays and Onlays ~ Ashley P.

Dr. Siemen and his staff have been nothing short of professional. From the moment you step foot in the door until the moment you leave, the staff is always so friendly and accommodating. Their work in the dental chair is thorough, yet gentle. It would be difficult to find a dental practice that makes your experience much more pleasant than Paxton Dental Care.

What are inlays and onlays?

Also called partial dental crowns, inlays and onlays are conservative tooth restorations that cover more of a tooth than a filling, but less than a crown. An inlay is a custom-made restoration that repairs and restores the tooth’s biting surface. An onlay is like an inlay, but it covers both the biting surface and at least one of the chewing cusps on the tooth. They are more durable than fillings and will last quite a long time with good oral hygiene and regular dental care.

Learn about Dental Inlays and Onlays, how they differ from other restorations, and how they are used.

Learn about Dental Inlays and Onlays, how they differ from other restorations, and how they are used.
Onlays and inlays are dental restorations that can fix teeth with mild to moderate decay. They are more extensive than fillings but less intensive than crowns. Watch this video to learn what they are, their similarities and differences, and benefits.

All about dental inlays and onlays

Some procedures of dentistry may be confusing, challenging to understand. So, here we explain dental inlays and onlays.

A brief overview

Dental onlays and inlays are restorations used to fix teeth with mild to moderate decay. And are referred to as “indirect fillings” or “partial crowns.” Inlays and onlays differ from fillings – fillings restore a small portion of the tooth with a cavity. If decay is substantial enough to undermine tooth integrity, then an inlay or an onlay will be used. Inlays and onlays are more extensive than a filling but are less intensive than a crown.
Inlays and onlays are designed from

  • Composite resin
  • Porcelain
  • Gold

Inlays – The inlay is done when the cavity is too big for a simple filling and is designed as a single solid piece to fill the hole.
Onlays – Onlays are similar to inlays, but they incorporate the outer cusp of the tooth or a single point.

The benefits

  • Both inlays and onlays do not require the removal of the healthy portion of the tooth.
  • Less likely to change in color
  • Easy to clean
  • Restores the function and strength of the tooth.


Step 1 – Preparing the tooth
Step 2 – Impression of the tooth (inlay/onlay mold)
Step 3 – Temporary filling placement
Step 4 – Inlay/Onlay placement

Inlays and onlays are excellent restorations as they preserve the tooth’s integrity while enhancing both its function and look.

If you are seeking professional dental advice, contact your dentist today!

Call us for more details.
Paxton Dental Care
New Patients: (508) 557-2400 Existing Patients: (508) 791-6140
672 Pleasant Street, Paxton, MA 01612

Inlays or onlays may be recommended by Dr. Siemen for:

  • Fractured tooth repair
  • Tooth decay
  • Replacement of old or broken fillings
  • Cosmetic purposes

Inlays and onlays are considered more conservative than porcelain crowns or other types of full dental crowns because they require the alteration of much less tooth structure than full crowns.

How inlays and onlays are placed

First, Dr. Siemen will discuss your treatment preferences and help you determine the right material to use for your inlay or onlay. Several different materials are available, such as gold, composite resin, or porcelain; most patients choose porcelain for its durability and natural tooth-like appearance. Dr. Siemen will prepare your tooth for the inlay or onlay and take several dental impressions so that the restoration can be custom-made for your tooth. Then, Dr. Siemen will place a temporary restoration on your tooth, so it is protected and to reduce sensitivity while your inlay or onlay is being made.

Once it is ready, you come back into the office, where Dr. Siemen will place your inlay or onlay on the tooth and carefully fit it so it both feels and functions like a natural tooth. Then, we cement it onto your tooth with a strong dental cement.

If you have any questions about inlays or onlays, feel free to call Paxton Dental Care today at (508) 557-2400!

Dr. Scott Siemen, DMD

Dr. Scott Siemen

A graduate from Worcester State College and Tufts University, Dr. Scott Siemen is a well renowned and skilled professional in the field of dentistry. He is a firm believer in developing and maintaining good relationships with his clients by being honest and providing the best possible dental care.

With over 25 plus years of experience in the field, Dr. Siemen established the Paxton Dental Care center with the vision of creating a relaxing and dental anxiety-free environment for his patients. His areas of specialty include porcelain veneers and cosmetic bonding, bite problems, advanced tooth wear, one-visit CEREC crowns, and sedation dentistry.

He is presently a member of the Massachusetts Dental Society and the American Dental Association.

Connect with Dr. Scott Siemen, DMD on Linkedin

Paxton Dental Care now offers Epic X Laser Teeth Whitening Treatment