The Difference between Inlays, Onlays, and Crowns

The Difference between Inlays, Onlays, and Crowns

Jul 01, 2023

A filling is no longer the best option if you have a tooth missing more than half or if extensive decay has compromised the tooth. You are already aware of two trendy alternatives for treating decayed teeth: dental fillings or crowns. In certain situations, an inlay or onlay is the right choice. Although inlays and onlays in Baltimore, MD, are less famous, they play a pivotal role in giving years of gorgeous smiles.

Although dental crowns, inlays, and onlays are common general dentistry treatments, many people are interested in using them for cosmetic dentistry. Compared to crowns, they are minimally invasive but large than tooth fillings. Only the dentist needs to conduct tooth shaping. Let us understand each of them in great detail as well as how they differ from one another.

What Are Inlays, Onlays, and Crowns?


The dental professional uses an inlay to treat a mouth cavity. It is made with gold, porcelain, or resin. A filling is smaller than an inlay but large than a crown. The dentist uses an inlay when the tooth cavity is too big for a dental filling to fix. An inlay is produced as a single, solid piece to glue to the tooth to fill the space.


Onlays are inside the tooth, but they replace one or more cusps by extending onto the chewing surface of the rear tooth. In contrast to inlays, which are increasingly popular with patients, Onlays were solely composed of gold. It is less or more than a dental cap or an inlay. It is fabricated as one piece and covers the tooth cusp.

Dental Crown

A dental crown is a dental cap similar to the tooth shape that masks a weak, cracked, decaying, or worn-out tooth. A dentist near you also uses crowns to protect dental implants and tooth roots that require repair. The dental caps may last between five and fifteen years with proper care. They are available from numerous materials, including metal, resin, and porcelain.

Difference between Inlays, Onlays, and Crowns

To fix a tooth that has shattered, is missing a large portion, or has severe tooth-rotting, a tooth filling might not be sufficient. Although fillings are useful in some situations, more damaged regions may require a crown, an onlay, or an inlay.

Inlays are beneficial for fixing large cavities. A dental inlay is bonded to the tooth’s core to give structure and strength. Teeth that need repair due to decay undergo this surgery. When a cavity in a tooth is too big to be treated by a filling, inlays may be an option. They guard against additional tooth deterioration and injury.

An onlay covers a different area of your tooth than an inlay. It covers the “cusps” of your teeth. But the professional put an inlay over the tooth surface and into it. It safeguards and cures the decayed tooth while restoring the damaged areas of your teeth. Like inlays, these can be of several materials, including gold or porcelain. Gold is more durable, but porcelain has a more realistic appearance.

A dental crown covers the tooth structure higher than your gum lining and the whole biting tooth surface. After the procedure, you will enjoy an improved tooth’s look and strength. A dental onlay is less invasive than a crown since it requires less tooth structure removal.

The main difference between Inlays, Onlays, and Crowns is the portion of the tooth they cover. As we all know, the names are interchangeable, but crowns cover the whole tooth above the gum line. Inlays and Onlays near you only cover a portion of the tooth. Unlike inlays and onlays, crowns are an ideal option for fixing cavities or decay that are more serious.

Call Our Qualified Pediatric Dentist Baltimore Today

Did you know 91% of adults in America between 20 to 64 have had at least one cavity? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that the percentage of adults struggling with dental caries increases with age.

Both inlays/onlays and crowns are efficient dental procedures designed to repair damaged teeth. Contact a dental professional at Canton Crossing Dental now to learn more or want to set an appointment online for inlays and onlays!

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