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womanquestionDo you know what a crown is? You’re probably at least familiar with the fact that it’s a hollow, prosthetic tooth crafted out of artificial material, such as porcelain. How about dental fillings? Are you already well informed that we use a moldable material called composite to fill an open space in your tooth left by tooth decay? If so, you may wonder where you might find yourself if your damaged tooth doesn’t need the full coverage of a crown but a filling is most definitely insufficient to address the problem. Lucky for you, we offer inlays and onlays as wonderful middle-of-the-road solution to this oral health concern.

About Inlays

Inlays and onlays are considered indirect restorations because we craft them outside of your mouth. This is unlike a filling, which is considered direct, because we mold it directly in your tooth as we go. This should give you a better understanding of what to expect from the design process. We will take impressions of your tooth, so we can create a restoration specific to the dimensions of your tooth’s damage. As for inlays, these restorations replace missing tooth tissue that rests between the cusps of your tooth. Your cusps are the outward projections on your tooth’s chewing surface.

About Onlays

Both inlays and onlays restore a portion of your tooth, making these treatments similar. However, unlike an inlay that replaces tissue from between cusps, an onlay replaces the cusps themselves. In addition, an onlay may replace missing tissue along the side of your tooth.

When Do I Need A Crown?

You may need a crown in the event that the damage to your tooth is too extensive for an inlay or onlay. We will always suggest the most conservative solution for your tooth before moving onto the next restorative option.


At Rodem Tree Dental, you and your family can expect to receive the latest in quality dental care. Dr. Ellen Nam and our team want to help you improve the health and beauty of your smile. To schedule an appointment, call our office at 972-475-2321. We proudly service patients in Rowlett, Rockwall, Garland, Wylie, and Sachse.