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In dentistry and oral surgery, an onlay is a method of tooth restoration, which covers, protects or reinforces one or more cusps.

Tooth restoration can be achieved either by direct or indirect procedements. Direct restorations include amalgams or esthetic composite and should be employed in the less invasive way as possible.

Onlay and inlay are methods for restoring teeth in an indirect way. The most important characteristic is that they compromise more dental tissue than the direct methods (thus are more invasive), where onlays cover one or more cusps and inlays do not cover any cusp: they are limited to the intra-cuspal perimeter.

Onlays and inlays are oftenly used when teeth present extense cavities due to caries, extensive tissue loss due to trauma or caries as well and when direct restorations lack retention.

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