Inlays, Onlays, and Crowns: Which Restoration is Right For Me?

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Inlays, Onlays, and Crowns: Which Restoration is Right For Me?

Cavities cause unappealing pits in your teeth when left untreated. Inlays, onlays, and crowns are all treatments for damaged teeth. Keep reading to determine which tooth restoration is suitable for your dental problem.

A tooth problem makes you feel like your whole world is falling apart. Your smile is the first thing anyone notices, so it's essential that you keep it healthy and looking its best.

Cavities, decay, and injuries all cause damage to your teeth. If you have one of these problems, treatments like onlays and crowns are available.

At Laguna Vista Dental in Elk Grove, California, our goal is to give you a magnificent smile you're proud to show off. If you require cosmetic dental treatments, Dr. Krystle L. Fenton and Dr. Benjamin Radlein have the knowledge and expertise to provide you with the best care possible.

At our practice, we use inlays, onlays, and dental crowns when you have a significant cavity or amount of decay in a tooth. Our team determines which treatment is best for you after a thorough dental exam.

What are inlays and onlays?

Inlays and onlays are dental restoration techniques that are more complex than traditional cavity fillings. Our team uses both inlays and onlays to seal areas of decay in your tooth that regular fillings can't handle.

At our practice, we use inlays when you have a large area of decay on the inner aspect of your tooth between the cusps. The cusps are the biting surface of your tooth. Inlays consist of ceramic, porcelain, or composite materials.

Our team places the inlay into the cavity or crevice in the tooth. It's then secured in place with strong dental cement. This step keeps it from coming loose, which can happen with traditional fillings.

Onlays are similar to inlays in that they cover a large area of decay on your tooth. However, the difference is that the onlay covers the cusp of your tooth, which is where you bite and chew. They're made of similar materials and are secured using cement.

Facts on dental crowns

Dental crowns are caps that fit over your tooth when you've suffered an injury or have a large area of decay. We use crowns that cover the entire tooth when you need to:

  • Cover a broken or chipped tooth
  • Strengthen a weak tooth
  • Protect a tooth after a root canal
  • Cover severely stained teeth
  • Change the look of misshapen teeth

Crowns are a much more versatile treatment than inlays and onlays. They increase the strength of your tooth and prevent further decay from appearing. Our team uses crowns for a variety of problems affecting your tooth.

Which treatment is right for you?

Our team carefully evaluates your teeth to determine the best treatment for your needs. Several factors play into the final treatment choice for protecting your teeth.

We recommend a dental crown if you have damage to a large portion of your tooth or the entire biting surface needs to be covered. The crown protects all aspects of the tooth, reinforcing it and providing strength to the weakened exterior. Crowns consist of a hard shell that fits over your tooth to protect it from damage and further decay.

For more minor imperfections or cavities, we recommend inlays or onlays. An inlay is ideal for the middle of your tooth when the cavity is too big for a traditional filling. Our team creates the inlay in one piece and cements it into place for durability.

An onlay is a step up from an inlay but still less aggressive than a crown for tooth restoration. Onlays work similarly to inlays except they cover larger decay areas that extend onto your teeth's biting surface, which is the cusp of your tooth. We make the onlay out of a single piece of material and secure it in place with cement.

If you need tooth restoration, don't hesitate to call Laguna Vista Dental today at 916-269-6085 or book a consultation using our convenient online tool.