Onlays & Crowns
Onlays & Crowns
When more than half of the tooth’s biting surface is damaged a dentist will often use an inlay or onlay.
What are inlays and onlays?
Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. These pieces are bonded to the damaged area of the tooth. An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth. An onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, similar to the inlay but extending out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth.
Traditionally, gold has been the material of choice for inlays and onlays. In recent years, however, porcelain has become increasingly popular due to its strength and color, which can potentially match the natural color of your teeth.
You may have heard the expression “ I had my tooth crowned” or “The dentist is going to put a crown on my tooth”. Just as it sounds, a crown is a restoration that goes on top of your existing tooth. The purpose of a crown is to rebuild and strengthen the tooth. A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:
- To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth.
- To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down.
- To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left.
- To hold a dental bridge in place.
- To cover misshaped or severely discolored teeth.
- To cover a dental implant
If your teeth are broken, cracked or have fillings that are too large to be replaced, a crown may be recommended. A crown fits the tooth like a thimble over the weakened tooth, providing strength and protecting the tooth against breaking. They are designed to match the function and Appearance of the natural tooth.
It takes two appointments to restore a tooth with a crown. During the first appointment, any decay is removed and the tooth is shaped to accept the crown. An impression is taken of the area, and a temporary crown is made to protect the tooth while the permanent crown is made by the laboratory. At the second visit the temporary is removed, and the final crown is bonded or cemented in place.
Today’s porcelain crowns offer outstanding aesthetics are metal free, and shaded to match your adjacent teeth. They also offer a very high fracture resistance for years of trouble free service.