What Is the Difference between Fillings, Inlays and Onlays?

What Is the Difference between Fillings, Inlays and Onlays?

In case of damage and decay, there can be effective dental treatment like filling, onlays or inlays. There is a difference between all the three treatments and an expert dentist may suggest relevant treatment after proper analysis of the condition of the individual patient. For some patients, ordinary filling can be effective and for others, both inlays and onlays are required.


Filling is an effective treatment that is often used for medium sized cavities. Filling is silver colored amalgam that can fill the empty space of teeth. The composite resin filling provides a hard wearing tooth to provide its strong functions. As filling is invisible, it can enhance the appearance of teeth by improving its structure. When filling is used, the area of decay is to be first removed to make space for filling. It effectively creates a tight seal over the teeth to keep bacteria out so as to avoid further tooth decay.


Inlays can effectively treat large cavities as well. It can correct and repair cavity that may exist at back tooth. Inlays are handcrafted in a dental laboratory with porcelain or gold which can be used to repair chewing defects. Just in order to design an inlay, the tooth is scanned so that customized inlays can be designed as per patients needs. Inlays use stronger material so that teeth can chew better. With inlays, restoration is possible so that the necessity of temporary filling can be eliminated.


Onlays may be similar to inlays and it can also repair larger cavity. But unlike inlays, onlays can correct the chewing surface at the central area. Onlays are also a customized option provided to the patient to correct the decayed tooth issue. Onlays can be crafted in a laboratory or with the help of machinery.

Whatever options you wish to obtain, it is important to consider the actual dental condition before choosing the best treatment. Once obtained, the results must be trustworthy to restore the right function and structure of the teeth back again.

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