Smile Design Studio Logo

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and Onlays services offered in the greater Bethesda and Gaithersburg, MD area

Cracked or damaged teeth can be both painful and aesthetically frustrating. Luckily, the team of experienced dentists at the Smile Design Studio of Bethesda in Gaithersburg and Bethesda, Maryland, provide expert inlay and onlay procedures. Inlays and onlays are a great alternative to a crown and can support your damaged teeth while restoring them cosmetically. Reach out online or by phone to hear more about your options today. 

What are inlays and onlays? 

Sometimes, cavities or broken teeth need extensive support beyond fillings. Inlays and onlays consist of porcelain, ceramic, or metal (like gold) material that your provider applies to the inner or outer part of your tooth. 

Inlays can replace fillings, and your expert dentist bonds them to your tooth to increase its strength. The team uses onlays to replace an outer missing tooth cusp. Bonding an onlay to your tooth also strengthens any inherent weakness in your tooth. 

What are the pros and cons of inlays and onlays? 

The team at Smile Design Studio of Bethesda works with you to understand the severity of your cavity or cracked tooth and the advantages and disadvantages of an inlay or onlay. 


  • Repairs and strengthens damaged teeth
  • Looks natural 
  • Prevents future tooth decay 
  • Improves cosmetic appearance 
  • Preserves more of your natural tooth than a crown 
  • Lasts a long time 

The inlay or onlay procedure is also painless, with no recovery time for most people. 


  • Can be the same price as a crown
  • May chip or crack
  • Sensitive to cold or heat 
  • Requires at least two appointments 
  • Can be a more extensive procedure than a crown

Before deciding on a treatment plan, your provider collaborates with you to understand your current oral sensitivity levels and cosmetic goals. 

What happens during an inlay or onlay treatment? 

Inlay and onlay treatments take two visits. At your first appointment, your provider numbs your mouth with a local anesthetic to be sure you’re comfortable. They remove any old fillings or tooth decay.

Then, the team creates an impression of your mouth using a high-tech scanner or by using putty-like material. The practice sends this precise impression of your teeth to a lab where they develop your unique inlay or onlay. In the meantime, your provider may give you a temporary option to protect your tooth. 

During your next appointment, your dentist numbs your mouth before removing the temporary inlay or onlay. They inspect your permanent inlay or onlay for the correct color and size, then bond it to your damaged tooth. 

To ensure durability, avoid sticky or hard foods and let your mouth rest after the procedure, as you may be sore. To maintain your oral health, continue to brush and floss your teeth normally. 

If you’re interested in receiving an inlay or onlay, reach out to Smile Design Studio of Bethesda by phone or online today.