Dental Crowns vs. Inlays and Onlays
Great Falls, MT
Even though teeth are one of the strongest substances in our body, they can still get physically damaged, leading to various oral problems. For example, decays don’t only affect your teeth’s physical structure, but they can also be the cause of many painful consequences, including tooth infections. Moreover, while dental composite fillings can easily treat minor decay and cavities, they aren’t usually much help in tending to large decays accumulating in certain areas. For the latter, you need to receive professional medical treatments, which include inlays, onlays, and crown procedures.
What are Inlays?
Inlays are used to fill in hollows and cavities in a tooth existing in the areas between the cusps. They are modeled and placed into the tooth’s chewing surface that was previously damaged because of decay or other injuries. These models are created by using the perfect imprint of the affected areas, which are later sent to the laboratory for development. In other words, we can call an inlay a single, solid-piece structure designed to fit the exact shape and size of the cavity and are cemented in place.
What are Onlays?
On the contrary, onlays are used to repair more severe decay damage, requiring a single, solid-piece structure to fit over the tooth’s biting surface. The dentist generally chooses this option when the cavity is too big or could crack the tooth due to weakness. Moreover, while an onlay supports strengthening the damaged tooth just like inlays, the decayed area may also include the cusps in addition to the space in between.
What are Crowns?
Lastly, crowns are used as an oral restoration process only reserved for critical situations. The restoration resembles a cap-like structure and covers the entire visible surface of the damaged tooth. This is the perfect dental procedure for holding the affected tooth together while preventing it from any further harm. Moreover, crowns not only put a stop to spreading infections but they even eliminate the need for tooth extraction surgery.
Which Option is Better for You?
When suffering from tooth decay or cavities, you must seek immediate treatment before this controllable dental issue flares into a severe one. However, if you’re wondering which option is better for you, you can only establish that by knowing the severity of your case. While inlays are the simplest of the dental procedures among the three treatments, onlays are usually recommended to patients requiring something between an inlay and crown. Furthermore, considering that crowns are more of a replacement procedure than a repair, they are generally reserved for patients who are well past the stage of saving their original tooth.
At River's Edge Dental, our competent dental specialists perform a thorough oral examination and a dental X-ray to determine the extent of your tooth’s damage. Once we know which treatment you require, you can continue with the medical procedure at your convenience. If you have any further questions regarding inlays, onlays, and crowns, give our office a call at (406) 315-5882.