CEREC® Inlays and Onlays

What are Dental Inlays and Onlays?

Sometimes, the dental decay suffered by a tooth is not significant enough to warrant placement of a crown. Inlays and onlays are tooth-colored porcelain coverings that can provide more protection than a filling, but are not designed to enclose the entire tooth structure like a dental crown. While an inlay is placed on the inside of the tooth surface, an onlay is additionally meant to cover one or more of the pointed tips (cusps) on top of the tooth as well as the interior surface. Inlays and onlays can reinforce and restore the damaged walls of enamel while offering a seamless, natural-looking appearance within your smile.

Dental Inlays and Onlays vs. Fillings

Fillings have long been used to restore teeth affected by mild decay. Traditionally applied using a number of materials (either gold, amalgam, or composite) to fill the decayed area of a tooth, they are considered a steadfast solution to restore the integrity of weak enamel while preventing further damage. However, patients who require more extensive protection of a decayed tooth can typically benefit more from porcelain inlays or onlays, which envelop a larger portion of the tooth structure. These coverings are utilized when the degree of decay in a tooth does not necessitate a crown. Unlike fillings, our inlays and onlays are custom-crafted by CEREC® technology to fit easily over the affected portions of your tooth.

How Much Do CEREC® Dental Inlays and Onlays Cost?

As with dental crowns, the cost of inlays and onlays will largely depend on the geographic location of your treatment and the expertise of your dentist, as well as other considerations unique to your treatment plan. Onlays are typically more expensive than inlays, as they cover a larger portion of the tooth structure. Fortunately, our practice’s use of CEREC® technology typically cancels the need for outside lab fees. Although your cost estimate will be influenced by the location of the treated tooth, how many teeth are being treated, and the size of the restoration, the average price of inlays and onlays is comparable to the cost of CEREC® crowns. Rest assured that our cosmetic dentist will provide you with a personalized quote, as well as our accepted modes of payment, before any dental work begins.


To begin the CEREC® process, Dr. Dean will prepare the tooth for the new restoration. This may involve administering anesthesia and removing decay or unhealthy tooth structure. Next, he takes digital photographs and optical impressions of the patient’s teeth and bite; no messy trays are necessary. He then enters this information into the CEREC® software, which transmits it to the milling unit. The milling machine then custom-crafts the restoration in a process that takes about an hour, during which the patient can sit back and relax. When the restoration is ready, the dentist places it in the treated location, ensuring an appropriate fit within the teeth and mouth . The typical result is a beautiful, one-of-a-kind restoration that matches a patient’s appearance and smile flawlessly.

How Long Do CEREC® Restorations Last?

Dental crowns, inlays, and onlays designed with CEREC® technology can provide years, and even decades, of enduring strength and beauty when they are properly taken care of. While these porcelain restorations have surpassed 20 to 30 years of use for some patients, the shelf life of your CEREC® crown, inlay, or onlay will ultimately depend on how well you care for it once it is placed. After a CEREC® restoration is bonded to a tooth, it behaves much like your natural teeth and is similarly affected by dental decay and bacteria. Good oral hygiene habits, such as daily brushing, flossing, and routine dental check-ups, can generally minimize the chances of premature restoration failure for long-lasting protection of your tooth enamel. Because grinding and clenching the teeth have been known to cause excessive wear and unnecessary tooth damage, seeking solutions like a nighttime dental guard can also typically prolong the longevity of your CEREC® restoration if you are prone to exerting undue pressure on the enamel.  We know you have questions and we are here for you – 865-539-1119

Dean Cosmetic Dentistry is Home of the Cerec One Appointment Dental Crowns -Dr. Donnie Dean is a Cerec Mentor and Trainer, teaching other dentist this incredible technology – Cerec Dental Crowns…. For an advanced dental restorative system that allows your dentist to restore decayed teeth, place crowns, remove defective amalgam fillings, or place cosmetic veneers in just one appointment. This allows you to have the highest quality, most life like dental restorations in just one visit to the dentist.  Want the latest technology?  We have it @ Dean Cosmetic Dentistry – #knoxvilledentist www.deancosmeticdentistry.com  865-539-1119 #onevisitcrowns #knoxvillesmiles

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