What are inlays, onlays and overlays?

Inlays are similar to fillings but the entire work lies within the cusps (bumps) on the chewing surface of the tooth. Onlays are more extensive than inlays, covering one or more cusps. Onlays are sometimes called partial crowns. Overlays extends outwards from onlays.
Inlays, onlays and overlays are normally done to repair damaged portion of teeth that may be too large to be fixed with composite resin fillings whilst the damage is not overly extensive requiring a dental crown.
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restorations with inlays and onlays

Repair damaged teeth with overlays at BIDH inlay onlay clinic by our restorative dentist.

Types of Inlays Onlays Overlays

Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or glass ionomer. Porcelain inlays mimic enamel’s translucency and color, making them attractive choices for patients. Gold alloy inlays and onlays possess greater durability.

gold inlays

Gold & Metal Alloy

  1. Gold doesn’t corrode.
  2. Some people like the gold color better than the silver color of amalgam.
  3. Gold fillings are durable enough to withstand chewing forces.
  1. higher costs
  2. possiblility of “galvanic shock”if both gold and amalgam fillings are right next to each other
glass ionomers


  1. Ceramics are tooth-colored thus good aesthetics.
  2. Ceramics are more resistant to stains and abrasion than composite resin.
  1. Ceramics are more brittle than composite resin.
  2. A ceramic inlay or onlay needs to be large enough to prevent it from breaking.
porcelain onlays

Glass (Fluoroaluminosilicate)

  1. Glass ionomer matches the color of the teeth, although it does not always match as well as composite resin.
  2. In some cases, no drilling is needed to place a glass ionomer filling.
  3. Glass ionomers release fluoride, which can help protect the tooth from further decay
  4. Glass ionomer restorations bond (stick) to the tooth, which helps to prevent leakage around the filling and further decay.
  1. Traditional glass ionomer is significantly weaker than composite resin.
  2. Increased treatment time as thin layer needs to be cured, or hardened, with a special bright blue before the next layers is placed

Why do inlays, onlays and overlays?

  1. Increase the strength of a tooth with respect to fillings
  2. Alternative to an crown when teeth damage is not extensive
  3. Porcelain inlays/onlays does not change color over time
  4. Gives better esthetic appearance compared amalgam fillings

If tooth cavities are large, inlays and onlays that are porcelain pieces restore teeth damage. Overlays are options where it is too large for dental fillings but may not yet require a crown.

Questions on Inlays, Onlays and Overlays

How is porcelain inlays and onlays done?

If tooth cavity is large, dental fillings may not be suited to fill the tooth structure after the decay is removed. In such cases, your dentist may recommend inlays, onlays or overlays. If the damage is more significant, a dental crown will likely be recommended.

The procedure for doing dental inlays and onlays requires around 2 to 3 visits. During your first visit at our inlay onlay clinic, the decay is removed and that tooth is reshaped to receive the new inlay/ onlay. Records are taken on the tooth color and an impression of the tooth is taken. The model replica is sent to the dental lab where the inlay and onlay piece is made. The site is temprorarily covered with composites whilst your inlays, onlay is being made.

When the inlay, onlay is delivered, the temporary dental filling is removed and inlay, onlay cemented into place. Your dentist check your bite on any high-spots or discomfort and makes any required adjustments.

You will have to care for you new inlays, onlays as instructured by your dentist.

How to care for my inlays and onlays?

Onlays and inlays has the benefit of better strength and durability than composite dental fillings. They will still however require the same care as with natural teeth or any restorations. Do maintain good oral hygiene practices:

  • Brush at least twice a day. It is good practice to brush after eating and before bedtime.
  • Floss at least once to twice a day.
  • Rinse with fluoride rinse before bed. Swish the fluoride rinse vigorously in your mouth for at least one minute. Do not swallow any of the rinse and do not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes
  • Be careful about chewing toffees, gum, grainy rolls and tough food in this area
  • See your dentist for regular professional check-ups and cleanings. Your restorative can also check your overlays at our inlay onlay clinic.
What is the price of overlays?

At our bangkok dental inlay onlay clinic, checkup and consultation is complimentary. Inlays and onlays are normally more costly than dental fillings but typically costs less than a crown.

The cost of inlays, onlays and overlays will vary based on the size of the restoration (2 surfaces, 3 surfaces, 4 surfaces) and the type of material chosen (porcelain, glass inomer, composites or gold).

Overlays are larger restorations that extend to outer  surfaces so they tend to cost more than inlays and onlays due to their size. Porcelain inlays, onlays tend to cost more than composites.

Get more pricings on BIDH treatment fees.


Inlays, onlays and overlays are indirect restorations used to fill large cavities that are too big for composite fillings. These restorations may be gold, metal, ceramic or glass ionomers and labworks. Their advantage to composite resins is that inlays, onlays and overseas tend to be stronger and stain resistant.

Get a fRee consult

If you have tooth cavities or suspect you have one, you should have it checked and resolve early. Early detection and treatment of tooth decay early avoids larger issues that can be more difficult and invasive to treat over the long run.

Why choose BIDH Cosmetic Dental Clinic

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  1. BIDH aesthetic dentists are experts on cosmetic dentistry having thousands of veneers and crowns per year. Each with over 10 years of experience in their expertise(s) areas.
  2. Actors, actresses, beauty queens, models have sought after our aesthetic dentist for their hollywood smile.
  3. Many of our highly skilled and artistic cosmetic dentists are American board accredited or graduates on restorative and cosmetic dentistry from USA. Using advance techniques such as super-thin veneers and digital smile design concepts.
  4. Our digital smile desgin (DSD) is Thailand’s top master expert and the only specialist with a double American board aesthetic certification.
  5. They have lecturers and international speakers in the field of of digital smile makeover. The latest techniques and advance technnologies are used to cater to a customized smile profile for a natural yet enhanced overall look.
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  • BIDH asethetic dental clinic is one of the few centers in Thailand with an on-site digitalized dental lab for its cosmetic veneers and teeth works.
  • Your teeth are constructed by advanced digital CAD/CAM units combined with the human touch of skilled lab technicians.
  • As our lab technicians are within the same building, your teeth is made on-site for quick treatment delivery timings and immediate chairside adjustments. Most smile makeover cases are thus completed within days.
  • Your cosmetic dental experts utilize dental digital technologies including 3D CT scan, digitalized x-rays, intra-oral cameras, digital smile software and precision computerized milling units.
  • Our cosmetic dentists and BIDH aesthetic dental clinic has won the Best Aesthetic Dental Provider within the Asia pacific region for its high quality smile makeover servces.
  • Featured on numersous national televsion and magazines on their artistry, our cosmetic dental experts are amongst the top specialists in Thailand.
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