Close-up of an onlay resotration

Inlays and Onlays

If your molars have suffered damage or decay, you need to repair them to achieve optimal dental health and function. 

Smaller and more affordable than crowns, inlays and onlays strengthen damaged teeth more effectively than fillings. 

Our skilled Boston, MA, dentists use advanced technology to create highly realistic inlays and onlays that will precisely fit your teeth.

What Exactly Are Inlays and Onlays?

Inlays are small restorations that cover the biting surface of the tooth. They are placed to fill in tooth structures that have been lost due to decay. An onlay is a similar restoration that extends further onto the chewing surface of a tooth. An onlay's extended spread is designed to replace a cusp or multiple cusps. 

Inlays and onlays effectively serve as an intermediate step between fillings and crowns. Like crowns and fillings, inlays and onlays can fortify your tooth, prevent further damage, and renew oral function. If you have significant dental decay, a cavity may be too large for a filling, but not big enough to merit a crown. In these instances, an inlay or onlay may be the right dentistry solution for you. 

Boston Loves Our Dental Care


Dr. Brian Bourquin

Boston, MA


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As a fellow clinician, I know that reviews are often a source of anguish, so it’s my honor to give a 10 STAR Review to doubly cancel out any naysayers I had a front tooth knocked out as a teenager & ever since it’s been a source of stress & embarrassment as I have a huge smile that is ever present on my happy face Dr Stein created a successful prosthetic dental plan to not just fix but actually improve my smile I literally cried when I saw the final outcome I now smile with confidence & the knowledge my smile is perfect!

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Sean McGrath

Boston, MA


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Was born without two teeth and replacements kept falling out. I came to Dr. Stein for a more permanent solution and to simultaneously fix a crossover that had developed in my front teeth. Braces would have taken 2 to 3 years and I did not want braces at 30 years old. Dr. Stein created a permanent bridge fixing the crossover in 3 visits. Smile looks great and been getting lots of compliments.

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Our Cutting-Edge Tech Increases Effectiveness and Efficiency

CEREC machine milling a restoration

Before placing an inlay or onlay, Dr. Stein will first treat any decay. He will clean the tooth to remove bacteria and damaged tissue.

Next, he will take impressions of the tooth, surrounding teeth, and tooth structure. If a same-day restoration is right for your smile, he will use our CAD/CAM system to create incredibly precise digital impressions. Our in-office milling machine can then utilize these images to carve out your inlay or onlay, which may be fabricated and placed during the same appointment.

If you are not a candidate for same-day restorations, we will schedule a second appointment during which we will attach an inlay or onlay crafted in an outside lab. In the interim, Dr. Stein will provide a temporary restoration to protect your tooth. 

The Steins Are Certified

Dr. James Stein and Dr. Brett Stein are both prosthodontists, meaning they completed years of advanced training beyond the requirements of a general dentist. Prosthodontists have a heightened level of expertise when it comes to repairing damage and improving appearance. 

Prosthodontists are often sought after to fix widespread tooth trauma. The truth is, it's also wise to turn to them for a relatively simple procedure like treating a cavity with an inlay or onlay. Their restorative expertise allows them to handle any restoration in the most effective manner possible, for a long-lasting and lifelike result. 

The Steins

An Affordable Tooth Upgrading Option

Inlays and onlays are smaller and more affordable than crowns. Their effectiveness and comparably low price make them an especially sought after dentistry solution for our Boston, MA, patients. 

Drs. Stein

James M. Stein, DMD

Our dental practice has been trusted by Boston patients for over 30 years. Together, Dr. James M. Stein and Brett E. Stein are members of various renowned organizations, including: 

  • American Dental Association
  • Massachusetts Dental Society
  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • American College of Prosthodontists

If you are ready to achieve optimal oral and overall health, call our office at (617) 227-6076 or request an appointment online.

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Boston Office

50 Staniford St
10th Flr
Boston, MA 02114

Open Today 7:00am - 3:00pm

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