Dental inlays, onlays, and crowns

When you have decayed or chipped teeth your self-confidence suffers. A less than perfect smile not only poses serious health risks by making you vulnerable to gingivitis and other serious issues, but it also impacts your self esteem.

For both of those reasons, it’s important to see your dentist regularly for treatment.

There are a number of ways to fill cavities, repair chipped or broken teeth, and correct the appearance of tooth decay. Dental inlays and onlays have been used in the place of fillings to replace tooth structure loss due to decay. They are placed inside of the tooth to fill in the missing space.


Dental Inlays

Dental inlays are still used in the place of fillings. They are made of ceramic, porcelain, or dental composite in order to look as similar as possible to a natural tooth. Additionally, the bonding process used to insert the inlays can actually increase the tooth’s strength.


Dental Onlays

Dental onlays fill a similar purpose as dental inlays. The difference is that these, while still fitting inside the tooth, are used to replace the chewing surface on the back of a tooth.

Traditionally, these were made of gold, but recently more patients have requested that their dental onlays have a natural tooth color. They are made of ceramic and porcelain to allow them to bond to the tooth. Like dental inlays, dental onlays can improve the strength of the tooth.



Crowns are used to restore the appearance and function of the tooth. Unlike dental inlays and dental onlays, these cover the tooth rather than act as a filling.

These are typically made of metal or porcelain. While dental inlays and dental onlays are used to fill decayed teeth, crowns are best for teeth with large fillings. These have either had a root canal, been worn down due to grinding and use, or have discoloration.

Determining which method is best to repair your smile can be confusing but it is best to consult your dentist or prosthodontist. They can help you determine which of the three can correct your situation and improve the appearance of your smile.


If you’re interested in learning more about crowns, dental inlays, and dental onlays, call our office today to schedule an appointment.  Our dental professionals can help you find the best solution for your case.

(954) 476-0770