Fillings, Inlays, & Onlays

Fillings, Inlays, & Onlays

Dental Fillings

Filings are used to restore teeth that have been damaged by decay, returning them back to their normal shape. Your dentist will remove the affected tooth material, clean the area, and then apply the filling made of a durable material. During your regular check-up, your dentist will check for cavities and recommend a filling if it is needed.

Fillings are a routine procedure and are relatively painless. Your dentist may also recommend that anesthesia be used to make you more comfortable. Ask your dentist which type of filling material will be best for your situation.

Fillings can be made with:

  • Gold
  • Porcelain
  • Composite resin


When molars become damaged over time, they can form cavities and show signs of wear in the center. If this occurs, your dentist may recommend that an inlay be placed in the center of the top of the affected molar. Inlays stop infection and decay, allowing the tooth to heal and not be extracted.

The Procedure

Your dentist will remove affected material, shave the surface of the inner molar until it is smooth, and place the inlay made of artificial material in the slot. This creates an artificial chewing surface for the center of the molar. After it is healed, the inlay will feel indistinguishable from a normal tooth.


Overlays are similar to inlays; however, overlays are more comprehensive and cover the entire top portion of the molar as opposed to only the center of the top. This creates a crown-like artificial chewing and bite surface for molars that have suffered from severe decay. Having overlays placed will restore function and appearance to molars as well.

Overlays are the best way to fix teeth that have been severely affected by decay and could become infected without having to remove the entire tooth.

Overlays Benefits:

  • No full crown or implant
  • Enamel preserved
  • No extraction
  • Fast procedure