Patients are usually familiar with dental fillings or crowns. These are very common restorations to address decay or to repair a damaged tooth. However, in some situations neither are the right choice for repairing a tooth. Instead, we may choose an option that targets a more specific area of the tooth while providing more substantial restoration than say, a filling. When does a tooth require an inlay or an onlay?
Signs You May Need a Restoration
If you chip or fracture a tooth, you need to have the damage repaired to avoid complications. In addition, should you notice your tooth feels sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, or that a persistent toothache has formed, then you should see the dentist. Discomfort could be a sign that a cavity has already formed and treatment is necessary to prevent an infection or abscess from developing.
Difference Between Inlays, Onlays, and Crowns
A crown fits over the entire visible portion of the tooth. We make them from ceramic due to the material’s strength and lifelike appearance. However, an inlay is designed to fit between the cusps on the top of the tooth. An onlay fits over the cusps on the top of the tooth. These are also known as partial crowns or indirect crowns, since they target a more specific area of the tooth rather than covering the entire thing. As a result, they don’t require as great a loss of tooth structure in the tooth preparation process.
Do They Look Natural?
Yes. We use ceramic to create them. This material is stain-resistant and can mimic the appearance of tooth enamel, ensuring your new restoration blends seamlessly with your smile.
Learn more by scheduling a consultation online with Dr. Brent Engelberg. Call our office today at (847) 230-9703.