Do You Need An Indirect Filling?

We employ dental fillings to address cavities. Made from a metal-free biocompatible material, these restorations can repair teeth and restore them to optimal health and function. However, should you have a situation that calls for more than just a regular filling, we may recommend a more substantial restoration. Do you need an indirect filling? How do onlays and inlays differ from our fillings?

Frequently Asked Questions About Indirect Fillings

Question: How do they differ from fillings and crowns?

Answer: A filling targets the specific area of decay and is made from a composite resin. A crown actually completely reshapes the entire tooth, with the restoration fitting over the visible portion of the tooth. Indirect fillings, also known as inlays and onlays, target areas larger than fillings do, but aren’t as substantial as crowns. An inlay covers the areas on the top of the toot between the cusps. An onlay fits over the cusps.

Question: What are they made of?

Answer: They are made from porcelain. A strong material, porcelain can withstand powerful bite forces and provide decades of restoration. In addition, this material can be shaded to better match the tooth. Porcelain also contains stain-resistant properties and reflects light in a similar manner as natural tooth enamel.

Question: How do you create and place them?

Answer: We will first remove any decay and then prepare the tooth, removing a small portion of the surface. We then take detailed impressions, which are used in the design and creation process. Once made, the patient returns to the office. We place the inlays and onlays with the same bonding material we use for crowns.

Question: What issues can they address?

Answer: We can use them to repair teeth with advanced decay, as well as minor damage to a tooth.


Dr. Brent Engelberg and our highly-skilled team proudly serve patients and their families from Arlington Heights, IL, and all surrounding communities, including: Northbrook, Deerfield, Highland Park, Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Vernon Hills, Lincolnshire, Libertyville, Skokie, Evanston, Palatine, Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village, Rolling Meadows, and the Northern and Northwest Chicago Suburbs. To learn more, schedule a consultation online, or call our office today at 847-259-8030.


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