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Crowns vs. Inlays and Onlays

When a tooth becomes damaged or weakened, we can restore the tooth using various techniques depending on the severity of the trauma. Teeth that have large to severe damage can be restored using a dental crown, inlay, or onlay. Each device comes with benefits which our team at ZenTech Dentistry is happy to discuss specifically to your needs. Restoring teeth is always the best course of action when trauma has occurred over extraction. We can help.

What is large to severe damage to a tooth?

We place a lot of demands on our teeth. We use them multiple times a day, not only to eat, but in our speech as well. Teeth are daily exposed to bacteria from the foods and drinks we consume, from the bacteria in the air and while engaging with others, and from the environment around us including falls, collisions and more. The enamel on our teeth may be the hardest material in our body, but they are still constantly subject to trauma and damage. Teeth can have decay, disease, fracture and breakage. Small damage can be restored using a composite filling material. Large to severe damage often means that the patient requires something more, something to provide an added layer of strength to the tooth. This layer can be added using a dental crown, inlay, or onlay.

Dental Crown

A dental crown is a full cap for a tooth. It is customized to match either precisely, or in a perfected state, the tooth in size and bite. We then reduce the size of the natural tooth so the crown can be fitted over and is cemented in place. Your dental crown is strong and will provide a long lasting restoration. It serves as a sort of shield to the tooth, protecting it while maintaining the original structure. We strive to help patients keep their original tooth structures whenever possible.

Dental Inlays and Onlays

A dental inlay or onlay is made of the same materials as a dental crown, but instead of a full cap it is a partial. Dental inlays and onlays are sometimes referred to as a partial crown or a ¾ crown. Instead of covering the entire tooth, they are pieces designed to cover just the affected area. There are multiple reasons a patient may consider a dental inlay or onlay, including:
•  Less Disruption: Some patients find the use of a dental inlay or onlay to be preferred because it requires less disturbance of the natural tooth. Instead of shaving down an entire tooth to be fitted with a crown, we only touch and manipulate the damaged portion of the tooth. The use of inlays and onlays are often discussed as a more holistic approach in dentistry due to the minimal disruption.
•  Stronger than a Filling: A patient may have a large cavity that requires filling once the decay is removed. A dental inlay would be a more durable option than traditional fillings.
•  Slight Reduction in Cost: A dental inlay or onlay may be a little less in cost than a standard crown. This can really vary as both prosthetics require customization and fabrication, but there may be a minimal cost difference.

If you would like more information about crowns, inlays, or onlays, contact ZenTech Dentistry at (503) 765-9699 for a consultation appointment.
Talk to one of our caring patient coordinators today to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Frank Sioda
18676 Williamette Dr. Suite 202
West Linn, OR 97068-1718

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