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Filling, Inlay, Onlay, or a Crown?

Posted on 5/1/2024 by Dallas Prosthodontics
Photo of dental crown from Dallas Prosthodontics in Dallas, TXThere are multiple restorative options to manage a decayed or damaged tooth. The most popular include filling, inlay, onlay, and crowns. In this article, we will look at the differences between these four restorative methods for your oral aesthetic appeal.

Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are quite popular options and are used to cover any hole or cavity in your teeth. A filling seals the cavity and prevents it from growing bigger. These fillings can be made from different materials such as composite, resins, or gold. We mainly use them for minor tooth decay.


Inlays are required when a cavity in your tooth is too deep and large. This dental tool uses a solid material such as ceramic or gold created in the laboratory to fit well in the space. The inlays hold for a longer period and are not prone to staining or shrinkage.


Onlays are used to restore a larger part of your teeth. The area covered by onlays involves one or multiple cusps of your teeth. Onlays are made in the laboratory to ensure they fit the exact gap left behind by a cavity. The only difference is that the onlays will cover the area on your cusps, while inlays and fillings cover the inside of your teeth.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns cover the entire surface of your teeth on the area above your gum line. They are recommended when there is extensive damage to your teeth. If you have misshapen teeth, or they are discolored, crowns are quite useful even in concealing these problems. In the installation process, we first prepare the teeth by filing or grinding them down. We then take impressions and then put into place a temporary crown. We fabricate the permanent crowns in the laboratory to ensure they suit the color and shape of your teeth.

Inlays, onlays, fillings, and crowns are good dental tools to manage various dental conditions such as decay, misshapen teeth, or discoloration. The only difference among these methods is the surface area that they cover. You can visit us for a recommendation of the ideal one for your needs.

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