Inlays vs. Fillings: Which One to Go For & Why?

Inlays vs. Fillings: Which One to Go For & Why?

Oct 01, 2020

Inlays and fillings are treatment options for decayed teeth. They work by filling the cavity to prevent further damage. Most people find it hard to decide which option to go for.  Both inlays and fillings are an effective way of fixing decayed teeth. Their success rate, however, will depend on a number of factors.

In this article, we will give you everything you need to know about these two treatment options. The information here will help you make an informed choice if you have decayed teeth. You can then know which option will work best for your teeth.

What are Inlays?

This is an indirect restoration form of treatment that is designed to fill large cavities. For this option, a dentist makes a custom piece that fits your cavity. The piece will then be cemented in place to make it firm.  This option works best for severely damaged molars and premolars.

If you have large cavities and your teeth cannot support fillings, inlays are the best option. Inlays have been showing an impressive success rate for years. They are mostly made of gold and, at times, porcelain.

The Procedure

  • The decayed part will be removed using special tools
  • Numbing can then be done using local anesthesia.
  • The dentist will then take your tooth impression. We use the impression to make your inlay.
  • A temporary filling will be used as you wait for your filling.
  • The dentist will clean your tooth on your second visit.
  • Fitting and bonding will then be done

Why Go For This Option

This treatment option has some advantages over fillings.  These are the reasons why you should go for dental fillings.

They are Durable

Fillings can weaken your teeth after some time.  While fillings weaken the remaining tooth structure inlays, strengthen it. This option has a longer life span than fillings. It will last for decades as long as you maintain proper oral hygiene.

The Aesthetics

Porcelain, which almost resembles real teeth can be used to make inlays. With porcelain, your teeth will be appealing. You won’t even tell the inlay from the real teeth.

 Inlays Fit Perfectly

Since inlays are custom made to fit the cavity, they don’t leave any spaces. Fillings, on the other hand, can leave spaces, causing bacterial infections.

What is Dental Filling?

This is also another dental restoration treatment that fixes decayed and cracked teeth.This is a solution for smaller cavities. Fillings also protect your teeth from further damage to your teeth. Some of the filling materials used include gold, ceramic, glass, and amalgam.

Dental Filling Procedure

  • The dentist numbs the area around the tooth with local anesthesia
  • The dentist will then use a drill to remove the decay
  • The dentist will test the area to ensure no decay has been left behind
  • Your dentist will then clean the area
  • The dentist can then put in the filling and polish it afterward


Dental fillings also have their benefits. These are some of the reasons why you should consider this option.

Improves Tooth Functionality

This treatment option will help fix cavities that cause pain while chewing. After filling, you can comfortably chew and bite without feeling pain.

Prevents Infections

A temporary tooth filling is useful in preventing infections before any major procedure.  This option helps gums heal and prevents infections in exposed teeth roots.


This treatment option can last up to ten years. Its lifespan also depends on your oral health.We recommend keeping your dental health at its best if you want them to last.

Main DifferenceBetween the Two Options

The main difference between the two is the approach. One is classified as direct while the other indirect. Dental inlays and onlays are classified as indirect restoration treatments. On the other hand, fillings are considered direct.

Filling is a quick in-office procedure, as all the materials are readily available. Dental inlays and onlays take time as we must fabricate a custom fix. You can talk to us at Chaparral Valley Dental if you are not sure of the best option.

Chaparral Valley Dental

Visit us at Chaparral Valley Dental and get help from our qualified dentists. They will check your teeth and get you the right treatment option.

403-283-3682 Book an Appointment