How Informed Are You About Inlays?

inlay2Not every dental practice offers inlays, but an inlay is actually a type of dental filling. Traditional dental fillings–silver amalgam or resin composite–are referred to as direct fillings because they can be placed directly in the tooth the same day. Dental inlays and onlays are referred to as indirect procedures because they are fabricated outside of the office in a dental lab, sent to the dental office, and then placed.  Why choose one over the other? It has to do with the size of the filling and the amount of healthy tooth structure left to contain it. If the cavity or damage is too extensive, the tooth will require a larger and, therefore, indirect filling. With that said, how informed are you about inlays?

Step One

An inlay is used when the inside middle of the tooth requires filling and there are no cusps involved. The restoration lays “in” the tooth structure. Inlays are fabricated from the impression taken of the tooth after the damage or decay has been removed. The impression is then sent to the laboratory where it is made of the same resin composite material as white dental fillings. However, inlays can be made of gold or other metals.

Step Two

Once the inlay has been fabricated and sent back to the dentist, the dentist cements it into the tooth where it fits snuggly like a puzzle piece. Inlays do not require removal of as much natural tooth structure as traditional dental fillings and are known to actually strengthen the damaged tooth by increasing the structural integrity by up to 75 percent. They do not expand and contract like traditional fillings, and can last up to 30 years.


With over 25 years of professional experience, Dr. Steven M. Huffstutler and his caring team proudly provide exceptional preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental treatment to patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth, including North Richland Hills, Denton, the Mid-cities, Southlake, and all surrounding communities. We also have extensive experience helping patients find relief from painful TMJ disorders (various forms of jaw dysfunction). To schedule an appointment with Dr. Huffstutler, contact our office today by calling 817-918-3038.