Crowns vs. Inlays & Onlays
A little known fact is that enamel is the strongest material in our body, yes, stronger than bone. Even still, enamel is subject to disease and damage. When the structure has large or significant trauma, we can strengthen it and restore its integrity through the use of a prosthetic, including a dental crown, inlay, or onlay. Working with our staff at Mid Valley Dental we can discuss the benefits of each option and advise you on a treatment that is right for you.
Teeth have a high likelihood of incurring some damage, they are constantly exposed to bacteria, they are subject to breakage from falls or impact injuries, and we use them throughout each day. Problems can occur. What you don’t want to do is lose a tooth if at all possible. Saving the original structure and root can save you much larger and more expensive problems in the long run. We can provide a covering to serve as a shield and protect a damaged or weakened tooth using a dental crown, or an inlay or onlay.
Dental crowns serve as a full cap for a tooth. They are customized to match the tooth in a perfected state, including how it fits and works with neighboring teeth. Crowns can be made using a variety of materials including porcelain, porcelain over metal, ceramic, zirconia, metal, or gold. Each material offers different advantages, and some materials may be preferred in varying locations in your mouth. We are happy to review these options and discuss their various attributes during your consultation.
The placement of a dental crown begins with removing any disease or decay. We want the natural tooth to be clean of harmful bacteria and debris. We then take a mold of the tooth and surrounding area and place a temporary crown. The mold is sent for fabrication. When the completed crown is ready, we then remove the temporary and clean the tooth again. The crown is first dry fitted to ensure the correct bite, and we can make alterations as needed. Once we are happy with the fit, we can then cement the crown in place and cure it with a blue light. With the crown cured, you can resume using the now protected tooth as normal.
Dental crowns are a great option in tooth restoration. The one negative is how much manipulation of the original tooth is required. To place the crown, we need to reduce and reshape the natural tooth structure. Some patients would prefer to not have the original tooth reduced and reshaped. They prefer a more holistic, or limited, approach. We understand. This may be where a dental inlay or onlay is a better approach.
Dental Inlay or Onlay
Dental inlays and onlays require less disruption of the tooth structure. Unlike the full crown, a dental inlay or onlay is a partial crown. Using many of the same materials, they are customized to fit just the affected areas of the tooth. A dental inlay is used to cover large areas of damage inside a tooth, generally from large cavities. A dental onlay is used to cover large areas of damage on the outer wall of teeth, generally from breakage or a cavity. Instead of covering the entire tooth, or reducing the entire tooth, we need to only focus on the damaged portion of the tooth and then cover it with the customized piece.
If you are interested in finding out what option may be right for you - a dental crown, inlay, or onlay - give Mid Valley Dental a call at (920) 215-4160 to schedule an appointment and we will discuss which treatment plan is best for you.