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Dental Crowns vs Inlays & Onlays in Russellville, AL


Rendering of jaw with dental crown at Singing River Dentistry in Russellville AL 35653 Two popular dental restoration choices include dental onlays and tooth crowns. When we help our Russellville, AL patients address a damaged tooth, enhance its structural integrity, and improve its look, we go over all of the differences between onlays and dental crowns.

These solutions serve specific purposes and come with different advantages. At Singing River Dentistry, we will give you all of the knowledge necessary to make a fully informed decision between onlays and crowns.

Understanding Onlays


Dental onlays and inlays are a specialized form of dental restoration. They protect teeth but preserve more of the natural tooth than crowns. Onlays are also called partial crowns or indirect fillings.

Patients work with our team to understand and decide what works best for their individual needs. Patients may select a custom metal inlay made of gold, or a porcelain onlay that matches the tooth's color. Composite resin material is also used.

Onlays are designed to protect moderately damaged or decayed teeth and preserve most of the natural tooth. The benefit of inlays and onlays is their precision.

What Are Onlays?


Onlays are a dental restoration designed to address specific issues with a tooth's structure, but preserve much of the natural tooth.

They are custom-crafted from porcelain, composite resin, or gold. Onlays are strategically shaped to cover a designated area of the top of the tooth.

They differ from crowns because crowns encase the entire tooth. Onlays are more conservative and allow more retention of natural tooth structure.

When Are Onlays Recommended?


Onlays are recommended when a natural tooth conservation is most beneficial. Onlays are advised when a tooth exhibits moderate damage or decay. These restorations are suitable for when a dental filling does not provide sufficient support, but a full crown is excessive.

Onlays are versatile. They address issues like fractured cusps, decay, and worn surfaces. We recommend onlays for the purpose of preserving the maximum amount of healthy tooth structure.

Benefits of Onlays


The most important advantage of onlays is that they are conservative. Onlays require the removal of less tooth structure compared to full crowns. This preservation of more natural tooth material gives onlays long-term strength.

In addition, onlays offer a precise fit. They ensure optimal contact with neighboring teeth, and fit seamlessly with the rest of the smile. There are different materials used to make onlays, such as porcelain or composite resin. Onlays reinforce weakened teeth, protect against further damage, and restore function.

Understanding Dental Crowns


Dental crowns are also called caps. They are designed to encase an entire tooth. This provides strong protection and replicates the original tooth.

Crowns are crafted from porcelain, ceramic, and other materials. The different types of dental crowns are custom-made to fit over a prepared tooth and protect all sides from further damage or decay.

This coverage makes crowns the best choice for extensive tooth decay, fractures, or structural damage. Dental crowns restore the tooth's integrity, enhance its appearance, and make it functional again. In addition, crowns are color-matched to surrounding teeth to make them indistinguishable from the natural tooth.

What Are Dental Crowns?


Dental crowns are usually fabricated from various types of ceramic materials, and sometimes, metal. The material they are made from depends on individual needs, and patient preferences.

The dental crown procedure starts with preparing the affected tooth by removing damaged or decayed portions and then fitting the custom-made crown. Crowns provide protection for weakened teeth, restore function, and improve smiles.

When Are Dental Crowns Recommended?


Dental crowns are recommended where complete restoration and reinforcement of a tooth are vital. Extensive decay that cannot be addressed with a filling or onlay requires a crown.

Crowns are also recommended for teeth with significant structural damage, fractures, or after undergoing a root canal.

Crowns provide crucial support and protection on all sides of the tooth. Lastly, crowns are also used to stabilize and anchor dental bridges. They serve as abutments to replace missing teeth.

Benefits of Dental Crowns


The primary benefit of dental crowns is the ability to provide protection for compromised teeth, and prevent further decay or damage. Crowns contribute to the restoration of a tooth's function and allow patients to bite and chew with confidence again.

Crowns are customized to match the color, shape, and alignment of natural teeth. This ensures a natural integration into the smile. Lastly, crowns are used to protect a tooth after a root canal.

Onlays vs Dental Crowns


Onlays are designed to cover a specific portion of a tooth. This addresses moderate damage or decay and preserves more natural tooth structure. Their conservative approach makes them suitable for cases where a full crown is excessive.

On the other hand, dental crowns encase the entire tooth, which provides the most support. Both onlays and crowns restore a tooth's function and aesthetic. The choice between the two depends on the extent of damage, the location of the issue, and cosmetics.

Key Differences


The key difference between onlays and crowns is the amount of coverage provided. This depends on the amount of protection needed for the damaged tooth. Onlays target one portion of the tooth to address moderate damage or decay.

This retains more of the natural tooth. However, dental crowns encase the entire tooth. This provides total protection. The choice between the two depends on the severity and location of the dental issue.

Pros and Cons of Onlays


Onlays provide an advantage in their conservation of the natural tooth. This is beneficial for patients who want minimal intervention. Onlays also provide a precise fit. They recreate the natural smile.

It's essential to acknowledge that onlays are limited, and are not useful for extensive damage. Onlays are dependent on the availability of healthy tooth structure for support. In addition, the cost of onlays can be higher compared to other options.

Pros and Cons of Dental Crowns


Dental crowns offer a comprehensive solution for damage and decay. Their most important advantage is total protection of a compromised tooth. Crowns restore function, and are ideal for cases of extensive decay. They are customized to match the color and shape of natural teeth, and replicate the natural smile.

However, removal of enamel is required to fit crowns. This impacts the tooth's natural structure. Also, the cost of dental crowns and the two step procedure may be considered disadvantages.

Which Is Right for You?


This depends on individual circumstances and personal preferences. If the goal is to address moderate damage or decay while preserving as much natural tooth structure as possible, onlays are the preferred option. Onlays are suitable for cases where extensive coverage is unnecessary.

If a tooth requires comprehensive protection, or a total cosmetic transformation, dental crowns are the best choice. The only way to be certain is to consult the team here at Singing River Dentistry, and explore what works best for your individual needs.

Factors to Consider


The most important factor is the extent of the dental issue. Onlays are preferred for moderate damage, and dental crowns are suited for severe damage. Preservation of the natural tooth structure is also an important consideration.

Onlays are the best choice to minimize the loss of natural tooth structure. The location of the problem within the mouth will also affect the decision. A patient's oral hygiene habits, aesthetic preferences, the cost, and the preferred material are all factors that must be considered.

Frequently Asked Questions


Are Onlays Painful?


Local anesthetic numbs the tooth and surrounding tissues. This ensures that patients remain comfortable throughout the procedure. Patients may experience sensitivity or discomfort after the procedure, but this is temporary, and managed with over-the-counter pain medication.

The discomfort is mild, and most patients resume their regular activities quickly. However, individual experiences vary, and patients are encouraged to communicate with us about any discomfort that they experience.

How Long Do Onlays and Dental Crowns Last?


The materials used, oral hygiene practices, and the patient's overall dental health all affect the period of time that crowns and onlays last. Durability is also influenced by teeth grinding, jaw clenching, and the patient's commitment to regular dental check-ups and proper oral care.

Onlays, when well-maintained, last between 10 to 15 years or longer. Porcelain crowns and metal crowns have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years or more. However, the actual duration varies. It depends on the individual patient's specific conditions. Consistent brushing, flossing, and regular dental check ups maximize the lifespan of onlays and crowns.

Can I Choose Between Onlays and Crowns?


The choices between porcelain onlays, metal onlays, porcelain inlays, metal inlays, porcelain crowns, and metal crowns is a careful collaborative decision made between our patients and our team. Communicating our expertise to patients is crucial, but a patient's personal preferences play a role as well.

Open communication with our team regarding budget, visual preferences, and the desired level of intervention allows patients to make a fully informed decision. Call us at 256-460-4191 today in Russellville to schedule.


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256-460-4191

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Dental Crown vs. Inlays and Onlays Russellville AL
Visit our website for great information on inlays and onlays (types of fillings) versus dental crowns for treating cavities and damage. Call us today!
Singing River Dentistry - Russellville, 531 St. Clair St. SE, Russellville, AL 35653 • 256-460-4191 • russellville.singingriverdentistry.com • 5/17/2024 • Related Terms: dentist Russellville AL •