Inlays V.S Onlays And Everything You Need To Know About Them.

When it comes to removing cavities and restoring your tooth, a dentist can choose from filling, inlays, onlays, and crowns. However, you might have heard about fillings and crowns, but what are inlays and onlays? While we will dig into the nitty-gritty details later, keep in mind all these are made of gold, porcelain, or ceramic to fill in cavities and shore up the strength of your tooth. With that established, we will discuss what dental inlays and outlays are and when your dentist will use them.

What Are Inlays?

When the cavities are extensive, and a filling won’t suffice, dentists then have to opt for inlays. Inlays have a particular definition regarding the size and area of tooth decay they cater to – dentists choose inlays only for the decay limited between the cusp of the tooth.

So how can you differentiate a filling from inlays? First of all, placing fillings is comparatively a straightforward method that usually requires a single appointment. However, for inlays, you may need more than one dental appointment. The initial appointment allows the dentist to take measurements and mold an inlay accordingly.

Inlays are fabricated as a single piece, and they must completely seal the gap in the tooth. Seeing the fact that bacteria won’t leave behind an opportunity to sneak in and cause an infection, an inlay must snug the area thoroughly. Again, inlays are made from various durable materials such as porcelain, ceramic, or gold.

What Are Outlays?

Onlays covers a more extensive area compared to inlays. Consequently, outlays carpet over the tooth’s cusp and the biting surface as well. Hence, overall outlays serve a much wider area than fillings and inlays. Thus, dentists choose to go for outlays when the decay is severe and widespread, but the condition has not deteriorated enough to call out for crown replacement. Therefore, outlays prevent the excess removal of healthy teeth, unlike during crown replacement when the dentist has to remove most of the tooth.

Similar to inlays, outlays are also custom-made in a laboratory. However, onlays requires a much intricate design process and accurate measurements from the dentist. Only after skillful fabrication and measurements, useful onlays are made for a perfect fit.

How long do these implants last?

We know that dental inlays and onlays are pretty sturdy and can last a lifetime, given that you take good care of them. Apart from great oral care, the material you choose to make your inlays and onlays also add to their longevity. In a nutshell, these can last you 20+ years with adequate care and strong building material.


It’s quite evident from our discussion that implanting inlays and onlays requires substantial skill from your dentists. Consequently, you would want to choose dentists that follow rigorous protocol for these procedures. Now, you don’t have to look any further as Bayside Dental And Orthodontics has your back, and for more details or to book an appointment, call us at 979-330-4113.

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