Inlays, Onlays, and Crowns: Pros and Cons

Posted by DR. MARIO LAMAS on Feb 3 2021, 09:34 AM

Inlays, Onlays, and Crowns: Pros and Cons

Visiting the dentist with a toothache only to find out you have a cavity is no fun. If you’re worried about the cavity that compromises your dazzling smile, we’re here to let you know that there is no need to fret. Advancement in dental technology offers several restorative options for dental cavities. The most popular of these restorative options are inlays, onlays, and crowns.

Find out more about them along with their pros and cons below.

  • Inlays and Onlays

An inlay is essentially a solid piece of dental material that is fitted into the cavity once the decayed area is drilled out.

An outlay is a cap-like structure that fits over the tooth in cases when the cusp of the tooth is affected.

Both inlays and outlays are available in composite resin, porcelain, and metal options.


Inlays and outlays are the better, sturdier option when compared to dental fillings.

In contrary to fillings, these do not cause sensitivity when the infection has reached around the tooth root.

These structures retain the existing tooth without changing it, only masking the decayed parts.

These are available in myriad color options and can be made to match the natural color of your teeth.


Since an impression needs to be taken for inlays and outlays, two visits to the dentist would be required to finalize the treatment.

As these need to be fabricated, they are more expensive than fillings.

  • Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are recommended when a significant part of the tooth has decayed. Also, when the infection reaches the root of the tooth, a root canal procedure would be required to save it. In such cases, a dental crown would be placed.


Placing a dental crown on the tooth after a root canal procedure offers strength to the structure.

It improves the appearance of a decayed, cracked, or discolored tooth.

They look and feel like natural teeth and do not cause sensitivity.


Before placing a crown, the tooth would have to be filed and reshaped - depleting a part of the natural tooth.

The dental cement used may get washed away over time, causing the crown to become loose or allow bacteria to grow underneath.

Thus, while dental crowns are the best way to restore a tooth, inlays and outlays offer a solution to cavities without affecting the natural tooth. Visit your dentist so that he or she may suggest the best possible solution for your case.

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