What Are Dental Inlays , Onlays and Crowns?

Crowns, Inlays & Onlays

Notice some tooth decay? Or maybe you chipped your tooth? Fret not, there are a few dental restoration options for you!

Keep reading to learn more about the differences between the 3 dental treatments.

What Are Dental Inlays, Onlays and Crowns?

Dental inlays are only placed between the pits of a broken tooth.

On the other hand, dental onlays protects one or more of the tooth’s cusps/edges.

Dental crowns however, are tooth-shaped moulds that can be placed over the surrounding tooth structure and act as a tooth replacement.

Differences Between Dental Inlays, Onlays and Crowns

Major single tooth restorations for decayed teeth

Treatment Procedure

Inlays and onlays are pre-made in a dental laboratory to meet each patient’s affected tooth and then bonded to the damaged tooth in a more indirect and non-intrusive manner.

Dental crowns, meanwhile, are more invasive since the dentist must trim and file down the tooth before the crown can be placed.

Types and Materials

Porcelain, ceramic, composite resin, metals, and other materials can be used to make dental inlays, onlays, and crowns.

Factors that dentists consider when recommending which type of material to use:

  • The location and position of your tooth and gums
  • How much of the natural tooth remains
  • The colour of the surrounding teeth
  • The extent to which the repaired tooth would show when you smile
  • The cost you are willing to pay

Cost Differences

In Singapore, dental inlays and onlays cost between $250 and $800 per tooth. The size of the area treated, the intricacy of the case and the material chosen are the key factors that influence the cost.

Dental crowns are projected to cost between $750-$1200 per tooth, depending on the complexity of the case and the dental professional chosen.

You can view MOH quotations for non-subsidized rates at public institutions by clicking here.

What Procedure Works Best for You?

Less aggressive restoration for restored tooth

Dental onlay and inlay help to preserve more of your natural tooth. If a crown is not required, your dentist may recommend inlays and onlays to help you keep your original teeth.

Crowns are frequently indicated for root canal patients who have larger cavities.

After the infectious pulp has been removed and fitting of dental crowns that assist in avoiding enamel exposure, (which can lead to chipping and further tooth deterioration), the tooth is no longer alive

Overall, the best restorative option will be determined by the type and severity of tooth damage, and it is in your best interest to get your case diagnosed by a competent dentist.


For More Information, Contact Us

Vivid Dental Surgeons strives to educate our patients about oral hygiene and health.

Feel free to contact Dr Ryan here if you have any additional questions about dental inlay, onlay, or crown or to simply just book a dental appointment.