Difference Between Inlays And Onlays

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Usually, fillings are used to treat minor cavities, while crowns are used to cover up significant fractures. But sometimes, a crown may be too large, or a filling may be too little to cover dental rot properly. When a dentist needs to fill in the gaps in your teeth, they frequently turn to dental onlays and inlays. They are more extensive than fillings but less invasive than crowns, which might require considerable dental contouring. A dentist is here to explain the distinction between a dental inlay and an onlay in this post to ensure that you fully understand the two oral care options, 

What Are Inlays and onlays?

Dental professionals refer to onlays and inlays as “Indirect Fillings” because they are placed into the cavity from the outside of the mouth in a solid piece that is precisely the proper shape and size.

When a tooth has sustained more damage than can be repaired with a filling but not enough to warrant a crown, onlays, and inlays are performed on premolars or molars. The critical difference between them is the extent of any portion of the tooth they cover.

Porcelain, a material resembling teeth, is used to construct dental inlays and onlays, improving the patient’s cosmetic value. Onlays and inlays, however, are now occasionally made of ceramic materials.

When a tooth’s chewing surface has been compromised by trauma or decay, dental inlays are fitted and molded into place. Onlays, however, repair decayed and damaged tooth cusps and biting surfaces.

Comparison Between Inlays And Onlays For The Teeth

An inlay is a dental restoration that fills voids and hollows between a tooth’s cusps. They perform similarly to crowns but do not completely encase the tooth surface. An onlay can work for a greater region, including the points, rather than filling voids in gaps.

Inlay Repairs Only The Tooth Surface

Inlays are made to lessen damage to the tooth surface. Dentists can make inlays out of ceramic, gold, and composite resins. Composite resins can be customized to the tooth to get optimal aesthetics.

Onlays Repair Larger Area

Onlays, which are also referred to as partial crowns, can be utilized to treat much more significant areas. Dental onlays, in contrast to inlays, are used on the biting surface and can be extended to one or more cusps across the tooth as needed by the patient. Onlays, like inlays, can be made from composite resins, gold, or ceramics since each material offers the patient remarkable longevity. Onlays are frequently regarded as the best option for crowns because they preserve more natural teeth than the alternate method of placing crowns.

Inlays and Onlays: Advantages and Drawbacks

Both inlays and onlays have some advantages and disadvantages. You may assume that there will still be some drawbacks, even though there are many more advantages than disadvantages.


  1. More Protection – For additional tooth decay, Inlays and onlays provide much more protection.
  2. Better Color Match: Your teeth’ shade is considered when creating the inlays and onlays. The exact color match is not available with other options.
  3. Durability: With the proper maintenance, inlays and onlays will provide significantly more excellent durability and lifetime than most alternative tooth treatments.


  1. Cost- Higher costs are associated with inlays and onlays, but you get what you pay for.
  2. Multiple Visits – You’ll usually always need to make at least one more trip after the original one.

Cosmetic Dentistry In Ludington

Consulting a trained dentist in Ludington and choosing a treatment suitable for your dental health requirements is essential when considering dental onlays or inlays. Contact your nearby dental office for cosmetic dentistry in Ludington and schedule an appointment to receive high-caliber dental care.