Inlays vs. Onlays: Which is the Right One for You?

  • Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • Inlays vs. Onlays: Which is the Right One for You?
Inlays vs Onlays : Which Is The Right One For You?

Choosing the best restoration solution is often an important step in starting your journey to improve your dental health and smile’s visual appeal. Inlays and onlays in Legacy are two distinctive but equally significant options in the field of dentistry. While both work to restore decaying or damaged teeth, their uses and benefits are different.

By understanding the subtle differences between inlays and onlays, you’ll be better able to decide which option best suits your individual dental requirements, finally leading you to the treatment that will bring out your best smile.

Understanding Inlays and Onlays

In the field of dentistry, inlays and onlays are advanced restoration techniques used to fix damaged or decayed teeth. These expertly crafted restorations provide an accurate and effective treatment to preserve the natural structure of a tooth while restoring its functionality.

When a tooth’s cusps (raised points) are damaged, inlays are often employed as a treatment. They are expertly crafted to precisely fit into the formed cavity, ensuring a secure fit and restoring the tooth’s biting surface. Porcelain, composite resin, or gold are often employed to make inlays as they offer remarkable durability and attractiveness. When the tooth’s outer surface has not been affected, they are a great solution.

When the damage or decay goes beyond the tooth’s cusps and covers a broader area, onlays, also known as partial crowns, are employed. Onlays are intended to cover the complete biting surface of the tooth and can extend over one or more cusps. This type of restoration is appropriate for instances when the tooth requires more substantial repair, as it provides greater stability and protection than inlays.

Choosing Between Inlays and Onlays

When it comes to restoring your damaged or decaying teeth, choosing between inlays and onlays near you might be a tough choice. Both alternatives provide distinct advantages, and understanding your own unique requirements might assist you in making the best decision. Here’s a deeper look at the factors to think about before making your decision:

Extent of Damage

  • Inlays: If the damage is limited to the tooth’s indented top surfaces (cusps) and does not extend to the sides, an inlay can be the best option. Inlays are designed to fit firmly within the prepared cavity, providing a precise and effective repair.
  • Onlays: An onlay is usually a better choice for damage that extends beyond the cusps and covers a significant percentage of the tooth’s surface. Onlays give extra covering and protection, particularly for teeth with serious damage.

Tooth Location

  • Inlays: Inlays are often placed on teeth that can not withstand severe biting pressures, such as front teeth. These restorations can efficiently repair the biting surface while keeping the original tooth structure.
  • Onlays: Back teeth, particularly molars and premolars, are subjected to a great deal of biting pressure. An onlay can provide greater durability and lifespan if the damaged tooth is in an area that requires additional strength and support.


  • Inlays: Due to their discrete nature, an inlay may be the best solution when the injured tooth becomes apparent while smiling or talking. These restorations blend in with your natural teeth, resulting in a pleasing smile.
  • Onlays: While onlays can also be designed to look natural, they are often utilized for teeth that are less visible. Discuss your aesthetic preferences with your dentist to achieve the greatest possible outcome.

Material Options

Inlays and onlays can be made from a variety of materials, including gold, porcelain, and composite resin. In terms of durability, appearance, and cost, each material has its own set of benefits. Your dentist near you can assist you in determining the material that best suits your needs.

Long-Term Considerations

It is important to consider the long-term consequences of your decision. Both inlays and onlays are designed to be long-lasting restorations. However, your dentist can advise you on which type can provide maximum durability in your specific case.

So, Which is the Right Choice?

The selection between an inlay and an onlay might be essential in the field of restorative dentistry. Both are effective approaches for repairing damaged or decaying teeth while preserving natural tooth structure, but their applications are not the same.

Inlays are useful for repairing damage or decay within a tooth’s cusps. These customized restorations are carefully created to perfectly fit into the prepared cavity. An inlay might be the ideal answer if your tooth has mild damage that does not extend to its outer surfaces.

When the damage extends beyond the cusps or covers a wider section of the tooth, onlays, also known as partial crowns, are the best option. They are intended to cover the complete biting surface and can extend over one or more cusps.

  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Added strength
  • Longevity

Personalized Restoration

Choosing between an inlay and an onlay is determined by the specifics of your situation. It is essential to consult with your dentist to receive individualized recommendations aimed at your particular dental issue. Your dentist can direct you toward the optimal restoration choice for restoring your dental health, function, and smile aesthetics by examining the extent of damage, tooth placement, aesthetic preferences, and other variables.

Whether you opt for precise inlays or extensive onlays, the ultimate result will be a beautifully restored and functioning smile.

Restore Your Dental Health and Get Your Dream Smile

If you are looking for a dentist open on Saturday near you then come into Township Oral Wellness. Our dedicated team is committed to restoring your oral health and assisting you in achieving the beautiful smile of your dreams. We combine restorative expertise with personalized attention through our broad range of treatments to ensure that you not only restore oral health but also achieve the smile you desire.

Come experience a transformative approach to dentistry at Township Dental Wellness. Book your appointment today!