Traditionally, when a tooth is decayed, a filling is used to help treat the cavity and prevent any further decay. However, when more than half of the tooth’s biting surface is damaged, Dr. Kennedy may recommend an inlay or an onlay.

What is a dental inlay?

We usually recommend a dental inlay when a cavity is too large to be restored with a regular filling. An inlay is crafted as one single piece and is made to fix the specific shape of the cavity. A dental inlay is cemented into place and acts as a permanent restoration.

What is a dental onlay?

A dental onlay can be thought of as somewhere between a dental inlay and crown. An onlay can be used to cover the entire cusp of a tooth. Just like an inlay, the onlay is made of one piece. Unlike a crown, it will not cover the entire bite surface of a tooth.

What is the difference between inlays and onlays?

The main difference between inlays and onlays are that inlays are used to help repair the surface of a tooth, whereas onlays are used to help fix a larger overall area. Inlays are more like dental fillings where onlays are more like dental crowns. Both inlays and onlays are made out of porcelain or gold materials.

How do I know if I need an inlay or onlay?

As your dental professionals, we will determine if you need a dental inlay, onlay, filling, or crown. There are many things to take into consideration when choosing the best restoration option for your tooth. We will determine the location of the decay and damage and evaluate how much of the tooth is being affected and then make our recommendations accordingly.

How are onlays and inlays created?

Like many restorations, our goal is for your onlays and inlays to match your existing teeth. To do this, they are custom-made and color matched in a dental lab. They will be perfectly tailored to your tooth so that when they are placed, the look, shape, and color of the damaged tooth is completely restored. Some situations require gold material which will be discussed during your appointment.

Marysville Office




Huntsville Office




Appointment Request Form