There are times when the damage done to a tooth by decay is too extensive to be treated with a simple filling, yet not significant enough to need a full-coverage crown. In these cases, the best option for restoring the tooth may be an inlay or onlay. Inlays/Onlays can help to strengthen a damaged tooth by extending its life expectancy and preserving as much of the natural tooth as possible.


Inlays and onlays, also known as conservative crowns, can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. They are bonded to the damaged area of the tooth. An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth. An onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, similar to the inlay, but extending out over on or more of the cusps of the tooth.

Traditionally, gold has been the material of choice of inlays and onlays. In recent years, however, porcelain has become increasingly popular due to its strength and color, which can potentially match the natural color of your teeth. In general, a resin composite inlay/onlay can be made in the office on-site or in some cases it is sent to be made in a dental laboratory.

Dr. Shelyan can determine whether an Inlay/Onlay is a good option for you based on the severity of your individualized case. Your Oral and overall health is always our number one priority. Contact our Los Angeles office today to schedule an appointment.