Inlays & Onlays

Inlays & Onlays in Tampa, FL

Tooth repair procedures like inlays and onlays seem confusing and frustrating to some. The terms all sound similar, and then you also have things like fillings and crowns in the mix. Knowing the difference between procedures can be frustrating and difficult, especially for those suffering from dental problems for the first time.

At Carrollwood Dental Studio in Tampa, we care about clearing up any confusion. One of the things that people don’t always understand is the difference between onlays and crowns.


Onlays can be thought of as inlays but with more coverage. Inlays are used to fill up cavities on the chewing surface of teeth. Cavities need to be filled to provide structural support to the affected teeth and prevent the decay from getting worse.

In situations where there’s damage to one of the cusps of a tooth, an inlay won’t be enough. Cusps are elevated aspects of teeth that come in contact with food. Instead of an inlay, we’ll use an onlay. An onlay works by filling the cavity on the chewing surface and also covering the cusp. At Carrollwood Dental Studio, we believe patients benefit greatly from the benefits of onlays.


Compared to crowns, onlays look conservative. Onlays are used when a portion of the biting surface of a tooth is affected. Crowns are more extensive because they cover the entire biting surface of a tooth. We only use crowns in situations where a tooth is seriously damaged and needs proper protection.

Despite onlays being slightly cheaper than crowns, insurance companies more commonly cover crowns and not onlays. This pushes patients and dentists into the direction of a crown rather than an onlay. Onlays are also harder to put in place and need an experienced hand.

Both are used to treat damaged teeth. Onlays and crowns are durable, long-lasting, and efficient in preventing further decay. There are minor differences between them in price, the part of the tooth covered, and the required skill from the dentist performing the procedure.

At Carrollwood Dental Studio, we have all the experience, training, and options to give our patients the best treatments.

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