Filling Vs Inlay Vs Onlay Vs Crown: What’s The Difference and Which Is the Right One for You?

Has your dentist told that you need to get some procedure done on your teeth but that has left you wondering which procedure is best for you? There are several dental procedures to choose from, according to your needs.

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Here’s a Look at the basics of dental restoration process:


It’s the basic dental restoration where decayed tooth is drilled and filled with a composite or amalgam filling material.


Inlay is used when the cavity is too big to be filled with simple filling. It’s created as a solid piece in the specific shape of cavity which is then fit into the cavity. It’s then cemented in the place.


It is more than Inlay but less than crown. Restoration is done by covering the cusp of tooth. It is a single solid piece that covers the tooth hence the similarity with crown.


Crown is just like a replacement of tooth and not a simple repair. Crown is restoration which is used only for serious situations. The tooth decay and infected pulp is removed followed by placing over the crown.


Implant is a major restoration of all the above mentioned types. When tooth is in a situation that’s beyond repair, or the individual has lost tooth, the implant is fused in the jaw bone followed by placing a crown over it.

The Dental Filling Vs the Inlay

Though in theory they seem similar, the inlays are used for larger cavities and they primarily differ in how the cavity space is filled. Additionally, inlays can be an expensive procedure for patients as insurance companies don’t cover inlays.

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Onlays Vs Dental Crowns

These are major tooth restoration procedures but the primary distinction is that Onlay will cover the cusp of the tooth while the crown will cover the entire biting surface along with tooth structure. If tooth has more scope of restoration, Onlay can be used and in case of severe damage or loss of tooth, crowns are used.