Comprehensive Dental Care.

Your friendly, local Queanbeyan dentist.


If money is not an expense you clearly want the best for your teeth. If you believe that amalgam or other type of fillings detract from your appearance. And who wouldn’t with an ugly amalgam filling. Then it might be time to reach deep into your pockets and consider getting what some dentists refer to as an indirect filling: an onlay or an inlay.

When is an inlay better than on onlay?

To be honest even though these methods of fixing minor tooth decay damage are grouped under very similar terminology as a method of pre-constructed restoration they differ in some respects.

What are onlays used for?

Onlays are actually larger than fillings and can even overlap to cover more than one tooth. With this type of restoration both the inner and outer surfaces of your tooth will be covered. In certain cases this restoration might even overlap on to a neighbouring tooth.

What about inlays then?

If your tooth has suffered decay and you would prefer getting a better treatment than an ordinary filling an inlay could be the answer to your problems. An inlay will actually be created at the laboratory that fits the exact size of the fissure and then applied at a later stage. This is obviously a lot more aesthetically appealing than a filling and has other benefits that we will cover later in the article.

The process made simple

Both of these restorations are performed in the same manner and will involve about two visits to the dentist traditionally. With introduction to CEREC in our practice we can provide this very cost  effective treatment in one visit. Your tooth that has accrued damage from neglect or external reasons, resulting in minor fracturing, needs to be prepared to accept the restoration. Then CEREC will be in action by scanning in five minutes. After the scan the dentist will design and mill the filling in next 20 minutes. Then the restoration can be fitted into the gap left behind. Just like a crown the inlay or onlay is binded to the surface of the tooth and then polished with finishing burrs or discs to make both your bite perfect and your tooth look stunning.

Advantages of inlays and onlays

As this is a two step procedure and not slap dash like a plain filling the restoration is an exact match for the cavity in  your tooth. This means that once it has been inserted and finalised by the dentist it will for all intents and purposes be as serviceable as your undecayed tooth and not impinge on the proper functioning of your mouth.

The strength of the tooth as a whole is actually superior to fillings due to the processes involved. Alongside this enhanced strength comes a very natural look with the colours of the inlay/onlay specially colour matched for a more natural look.

As we’ve already mentioned if price is not likely to be a consideration for you and you simply want the best for your mouth then for minor damage an inlay or the larger onlay will be perfect for your oral needs.