Happy & Healthy

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and Onlays Alexandria VA

Happy & Healthy

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and Onlays Alexandria VA

Inlays and Onlays

in Alexandria, VA

Inlays are a kind of dental filling that can repair cavities and other imperfections, while onlays are a treatment for more severe damage that also includes the cusps of a tooth. Inlays and onlays are used primarily in premolars or molars, when the tooth has experienced too much damage for a basic filling, yet not enough damage that a crown is necessary.

If you experience any tooth damage or decay, it is important to address it as soon as possible. While there is an assortment of treatment options, the correct one will depend on the extent of the damage. Sometimes, the damage is more than what a dental filling can correct, but not extensive enough for a crown or cap. This is the situation when your treatment solution is getting an inlay or onlay.

The entire team at INSPIRE DENTAL OF ALEXANDRIA shares an office goal. With over three decades of experience, we pride ourselves in being old school when it comes to respecting you and your family and giving you the treatment that we would wish to receive ourselves. Every single patient receives the quality care they deserve. This is the way to earn your trust and satisfaction. Our team is focused on our collaborative efforts to promote oral health by practicing prevention, wellness, enhancement, and renewing rejuvenation. Visit us at 4660 Kenmore Ave., #320, Alexandria, VA 22304 or give us a call today at 703-751-7600 to schedule your appointment to see if you might benefit from the placement of an inlay or onlay. 

Whether INSPIRE DENTAL OF ALEXANDRIA recommends either an inlay or an onlay, you will enjoy certain benefits in both cases. Your tooth will be stronger because the material used for the restoration is strong and will last longer. You will no longer struggle with the increased sensitivity of a damaged tooth. Finally, we have fulfilled our goal to always take all measures to preserve a natural tooth.

The Definition of an Inlay

Inlays are molded to repair a tooth in which the central part has been damaged by a cavity beyond the point where an ordinary filling can no longer make the tooth strong enough to resume its total biting and chewing function. The inlay mold is made in the exact size and shape of the cavity and is then fit and cemented into the groove of your tooth between the surrounding cusps, which are the raised pointed parts of the tooth. INSPIRE DENTAL OF ALEXANDRIA will remove the decayed part of your tooth before taking the impression needed to custom fabricate an inlay that fits perfectly into the cavity.

The Definition of an Onlay

Onlays are conceptually bigger in size than inlays. They are created in a single piece that sits on the groove of the tooth and then wraps partially or fully over the cusps to restore the damaged part of the tooth. Sometimes onlays are described as a partial crown. Like the inlay procedure, we must first remove the decayed part of your tooth before taking the impression for the custom creation of the onlay in a dental lab. When completed, the onlay is fit on to the tooth and cemented into place.


Even with the best of diligence to maintain your oral health things don’t go as planned. Once in a while, and you might find that your teeth need to be restored or replaced. Missing, cracked, damaged, or even decayed teeth will dull your smile. Did you know it can also affect your oral health? At Inspire Dental of Alexandria we offer restorative dentistry to ensure that your teeth and oral health are back to their former state.


It is important to feel confident in your smile, because being confident in your smile means being confident in yourself. Despite this, many people walk around every day, resigned to the fact that their smile is what it is and there is really nothing they can do to change it. But what if that was not the case? What if improving the aesthetic appearance and/or functionality of your smile was easier than you thought?


Almost 50 million Americans experience tooth-loss every year. Dental bridges have traditionally been the best option if you are in this situation. However, there have been continual technological advancements regarding different types of dental implants. Dental implants are becoming both a common and popular procedure to restore a missing tooth or teeth.

The Procedure for an Inlay or Onlay

An indirect filling, both inlays and onlays are meant to restore a tooth. Depending on the extent of the damage after we have removed the decay, you may receive either an inlay or onlay. If the decay and damage is contained between the cusps of the tooth, we create an inlay. If the damage crosses the tooth and includes a cusp or two, an onlay will now be necessary. Unlike direct fillings that we place in our office, inlays and onlays are created in a dental lab, which is why we call them indirect fillings.

Once the inlay or onlay has been created, we will bond it to the tooth, like that of placing a crown. This is a conservative treatment and will allow you to retain more of your natural tooth. When we perform this procedure, it will take two appointments. We will first administer a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and minimize any discomfort. The first visit will include removing the damage and decay, making a mold for the eventual permanent inlay or onlay, and then placing a temporary filler to protect the tooth. We will then place the final restoration permanently on your tooth the second visit. The dental industry strongly suggests that you diligently practice good preventative oral health care at home. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day and to floss at least once a day. Your efforts at home should be complimented by dental examinations at INSPIRE DENTAL OF ALEXANDRIA every six months for checkups and professional teeth cleanings. By exercising this simple preventative program your inlay or onlay will have a very long-life expectancy.


5 star

My family has been seeing Dr. White through more than a decade of teeth cleanings, tooth injuries, teeth grinding, cavities, caps, root canal... you name it. The office is 30 minutes away but we wouldn't consider another dentist office. It's not just that Dr. White is a great professional, it's that he and his family run a great office. Scheduling, insurance, hygienists, hours -- everything about interacting with them is first rate.Everybody is knowledgeable, thorough, and kind. They take major insurance, and have even given me advice on which options to select. ...and Dr. White is a big Nats fan, which is a bonus in my book any day.


Alexandria, VA

Some Major Benefits of an Inlay or Onlay

We will discuss the benefits of choosing an inlay or onlay as your treatment solution at your initial evaluation. One of the primary benefits is that it is custom designed to fit the exact tooth. The mold is designed to preserve as much of your natural tooth as possible, and it is made in the same color and shade as your tooth. Visually, you will be pleased with either your inlay or onlay. With simple maintenance, the strength it brings back to the tooth, and the protection it adds to your natural tooth, you can be confident of this choice to correct your tooth decay is a good solution. These indirect fillings have been proven to help restore strength to the original tooth. They will not require any more attention than your natural teeth, so there are no additional costs once the procedure is finished.

Our Mission Statement is to Open Doors with a Smile

At INSPIRE DENTAL OF ALEXANDRIA, our mission statement is quite simple. We approach every patient with attentive, gentle grace and patience. We understand the concept that we each are unique, and we all have our personal therapy plans. No matter the age, we will treat each patient only as we wish to be treated. By integrating cutting-edge technology with solid tradition, we attempt every day to exceed your expectations. Visit us at 4660 Kenmore Ave., #320, Alexandria, VA 22304 or give us a call today at 703-751-7600 to schedule your appointment for an evaluation to see if you might benefit from inlays and onlays.  High quality, comfortable, relaxing environment, and plenty of smiles is what you will encounter at INSPIRE DENTAL OF ALEXANDRIA.


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