Inlays and Onlays vs. Crowns
Time is of the essence when you’re dealing with tooth decay and chipped teeth. The sooner you get into our offices at Queen Anne Family Dental to treat the damage done to your teeth, the better. That’s why we offer several different solutions depending on the size, severity, and location of your issue. Dental fillings can treat some cavities, but the best options are inlays and onlays or crowns. With that in mind, let’s take a look at these various procedures and determine which one is best for you.
When Fillings Won’t Fix It
Do you have more than one tooth that needs attention because it’s chipped or broken? Then a traditional filling is probably not your most efficient option. For this we’ll have to bring out the big boys of dental restoration: inlays and onlays and porcelain crowns. These last three are your best bet when you’ve got extensive work that needs to be done to your mouth.
A Close Look at Inlays
Inlays are like fillings in many ways, but with some important differences. Fillings are used when a cavity is relatively small in nature, and can simply be drilled out and filled in with a replacement material in one visit. Inlays are used when a cavity is too big for a traditional filling to be used. They are made in a lab as a singular solid piece that is then cemented onto your tooth, rather than filled. This single piece stands a better chance of withstanding damage and lasting for a longer period of time.
A Close Look at Onlays
Onlays are similar to inlays, but they go on a different portion of your tooth. Rather than being placed on the inside and surface, an inlay is layed on the cusp of the tooth. This has the added benefit of preventing tooth decay at the same time as fixing the broken portions of your tooth. Like inlays, an onlay is created as a single piece and can be created out of porcelain, gold, or other such material.
A Close Look at Crowns
So now we come to crowns. Think of these as more of a replacement option rather than simply repairing a tooth. Just like the ceremonial object worn by a king, crowns go on top of a tooth that has been fixed after decay has been removed. They not only improve the look of a damaged tooth, but also strengthen its structure. Crowns are the best choice for serious dental damage, like after a root canal or when your tooth is too weak to stand on its own and can be made from resin or porcelain.
Which Is the Best?
As you can see, there’s no one best choice for dealing with dental damage. Inlays and onlays are best suited for lower levels of damage, because they involve less stress to your surrounding teeth. Crowns are a more intensive procedure, so they should be used when the severity of the problem calls for it. Porcelain crowns also cost more, but are more likely to be covered by insurance.
The truth is that all three procedures are successful for specific cases of chipped or damaged teeth, and the best way to determine how to proceed is by paying a visit to the professionals at Queen Anne Family Dental. Give us a call today at (206) 424-4450 and make an appointment to get started on your shining (and smiling) future!