Dental Crowns, Inlays & Onlays

Tooth Restorations for Every Need

Restorative dentistry encompasses a number of different treatments designed to save damaged or infected teeth from extensive injury, or loss. For instance, dental fillings can treat cavities (holes in your teeth) before they grow too large; root canal therapy can restore a tooth that suffers from severe tooth decay; and dental crowns can rebuild and protect a tooth that sustains extensive damage. In fact dental crowns and their variations (inlays and onlays) can be utilized in a number of different situations, depending on how much of your tooth structure needs repair.

What are Dental Crowns?

A dental crown is named after the top part of your tooth, also known as the tooth’s crown, and is fashioned from lifelike porcelain to mimic it. When a tooth is cracked, fractured, broken, treated for severe decay, or visually marred by a chipped edge or severe stains, we may recommend a crown. Placing a dental crown over the tooth can restore its integrity, improve its appearance, and protect the weakened tooth from your bite’s pressure.

What are Inlays and Onlays?

Inlays and onlays are similar to dental crowns, but rather than capping the entire top of your tooth, they rest over just a portion of the tooth. When a cavity is too large for a dental filling, but not large enough to justify placing a complete dental crown, inlays and onlays can provide a more appropriate solution. Made from porcelain, like dental crowns, an inlay describes a “partial crown” that lies in the crevices between the cusps of a tooth’s chewing surface. Likewise, an onlay is placed on the tooth’s chewing surface, but may extend over one or more cusps and along the side of the tooth, if necessary.