Dental Crowns vs. Inlays and Onlays
At Platte Valley Dental Care, we have options to repair and restore teeth after they have been weakened or damaged. Enhancing the integrity of the tooth will help protect the structure and help you maintain it. We can do this through the application of a dental crown, inlay, or onlay. Each comes with benefits that will positively assist your oral health in multiple ways.
Teeth can become damaged from disease, decay, fracture, or breakage. It is not uncommon to have the health of a tooth compromised. In decades past many patients would simply have the tooth extracted. Today, we know that taking steps to keeping the tooth structure is better for you for multiple reasons. Missing teeth causes changes in how you chew, in your diet, in the health of your jawbone, and can even cause changes in your bite.
Whenever possible, it is best to rebuild and restore your original tooth structure. One of the following prosthetics can help.
A dental crown is customized to fully surround and encase a tooth. Their shape sometimes leads to them being called caps because it fully fits over the natural tooth, leaving the tooth intact beneath. We use dental crowns to restore the size and shape of the tooth to its original structure, or in a perfected state. Because we can make small alterations to perfect the tooth, crowns can also be used cosmetically to give the patient a beautiful look. In addition to their appearance, we customize crowns to work with your bite so that they work in harmony with the neighboring teeth. Crowns can be made of several material options. Some options have greater benefits depending on the location that the crown is being placed.
Dental crowns provide many benefits of shielding and protecting a tooth. To apply them, we need to reduce and shape the original tooth to fit the crown. Some patients prefer an option with less interference. A dental inlay or onlay can be applied with less manipulation being done to the tooth.
Similar to a crown is a dental inlay or onlay. They provide the same shield or protection as the crown to the affected area, but instead of fully encasing the tooth, they are customized to fit just the damaged area. They are sometimes known as a ¾ crown or a partial crown. The decayed or damaged area of the tooth is removed and then the prosthetic is applied. A dental onlay is applied to the outside of a damaged tooth structure such as a fractured tooth or a cavity on a sidewall. A dental inlay is applied to the inside portion of a damaged tooth, such as a large cavity on a molar.
Before the placement of a dental inlay or onlay, we need to first remove any debris, disease, or smooth jagged or pointed portions. A mold of the tooth is created and sent to a dental lab for fabrication. We then temporarily cover the exposed area. The customized piece generally arrives within two weeks, and we will contact you when it does. With the customized prosthetic, we do a dry fit, make any alterations as needed, clean the area and cement the piece in place. Once the cement is cured, you can use the tooth as normal. We will check the status of your prosthetic at all future checkups.
If you are in need of a crown, inlay, or onlay, give Platte Valley Dental Care a call at (816)858-2027 to schedule an appointment.