Fillings, Inlays, and Onlays

If you’ve been told you have tooth decay, several options are available to treat your damaged tooth, including composite fillings, inlays, and onlays. These techniques help save more natural teeth than other restorations, like a crown. Dr. Bindra will discuss these options with you and help you decide on the most suitable treatment for your tooth.

What Is a Composite Filling?

Composite fillings are tooth-colored dental fillings used to repair cavities or damaged teeth. This safe, non-toxic material is made from a resin base with a putty-like consistency and hardened with a special light. Dr. Bindra uses composite fillings to restore the original shape of your tooth with a more aesthetically pleasing natural look. On average, composite fillings last between five and seven years. Some patients keep their fillings longer, however — in fact, some have maintained the same restoration for 10 or more years.

Several factors contribute to the length of time a filling will last. Some of these include: 

Bullet point using an orange gear with white check mark on it  Location
Bullet point using an orange gear with white check mark on it  Size of the filling
Bullet point using an orange gear with white check mark on it  Amount of sugary foods and beverages consumed
Bullet point using an orange gear with white check mark on it  Chewing habits
Bullet point using an orange gear with white check mark on it  Clenching or grinding

Unfortunately, composite fillings can wear over time, and the surrounding natural tooth structure will decay without proper oral hygiene. Bacteria can accumulate and lead to decay at the margin where the filling meets the tooth.

What Is a Dental Inlay?

An inlay is another restorative procedure similar to a filling. However, there are several key differences between the two solutions. Inlays are used when significant decay is present but not enough for a crown. Dr. Bindra won’t inject the filling material into the tooth immediately after removing the diseased tissue. Instead, she’ll create an inlay or onlay using a ceramic block, the CEREC milling machine, and computer technology.

What Is a Dental Onlay?

Like an inlay, an onlay is used when there is extensive decay. It replaces the outside portion of the tooth that’s broken or chipped. Dental onlays are less invasive than crowns because more organic tooth structure remains. Dental onlays are also created outside the mouth using the CEREC milling machine. They’re made from ceramic that matches your natural tooth color, producing more aesthetically pleasing results. 

Santa Clara’s State-of-the-Art Dental Practice

Crestview Family Dental uses state-of-the-art dental technology to treat our patients. Our technology makes treatment faster, more comfortable, and more convenient for you! Inlays and onlays can typically be completed in a single visit, as can composite fillings.

More Restorative Services

Dental Bridges

CEREC Same-Day Crowns

Dental Implant Restorations

All Services