tooth-and-crownIf you have a chipped or broken tooth, several treatment methods are available to you. With so many different selections, choosing is often confusing. To make sure you know about your best options,  Houston dentist, Dr. Deborah Gennero, will fill you in on restorative dental options – fillings, inlays, onlays, and crowns.


Fillings restore the structure and shape of a tooth damaged by decay. A filling is comprised of material placed within the walls of the tooth to keep it strong and block the roots off from germs. Fillings have been made of different materials throughout history, but Dr. Gennero uses a tooth-colored composite resin material. This allows the filling to blend in with your surrounding smile while also avoiding exposure to the small amount of mercury in amalgam. Fillings are perfect for smaller cavities or even chips. Cavities which are too large require significant maintenance over time. Too many patchwork fixes on a large filling can damage a tooth so much that it must be removed.Inlays and Onlays

Also known as indirect fillings, inlays and onlays fall between fillings and crowns. When there is not enough tooth structure remaining to support a filling but tooth damage is not severe enough to warrant a crown, indirect fillings provide significant durability and last longer than fillings. An inlay or onlay in a mouth which is well cared for can last up to 30 years. Inlays are similar to fillings but stay entirely within the cusps (the bumps on the chewing surface) of your tooth. More complex than inlays, onlays cover at least one cusp of a tooth and are also known as partial crowns.


Dental crowns are caps which go over your entire tooth. Unlike the other available options, crowns can reshape a tooth and improve its appearance by covering defects such as discolored or misshapen teeth. Crowns properly distribute the pressure created by chewing, making them very durable. In fact, a high-quality dental crown can last a lifetime with proper care. Crowns, like fillings, are sometimes made from different materials, but porcelain crowns have become more popular for their strength and aesthetic advantages.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Houston Dentist

Visit our Houston dental office for any of your dental needs, including restorations such as fillings, inlays, onlays, and crowns. To make an appointment, call (281) 578-6200. We serve patients from Clear Lake to The Woodlands, including Katy, West Houston, Sugarland, and surrounding neighborhoods.