Explaining Inlays, Onlays, & Dental Crowns

Natural Smiles • Jun 25, 2017

You know that you need to do something about your tooth. And at this point, you fear the decay or the damage is too much for a dental filling.
So what can you do?
You can start by calling (502) 414-0146 or contacting us online to make an appointment at our dentist office in Louisville, KY. Then you can find out if an inlay, onlay, or a dental crown could be what you need to fix your smile.
But what is the difference between these different restorative options? That’s what we intend to answer in today’s Natural Smiles blog.

What Is A Dental Crown?
Dental crowns are replacements for the natural crowns of your teeth.
Crowns can be used to fix a wide range of problems including:
◼ Broken teeth
◼ Cracked teeth
◼ Decayed teeth
◼ Discolored teeth
◼ Infected teeth (as part of a root canal)
◼ Misshapen teeth
◼ Worn-down teeth
Modern dental crowns are made from some of the most durable and natural-looking ceramics ever developed. When you get a dental crown, your smile looks as good as or better than ever, and your dental crown will function as well as the natural crowns of your real teeth.
To get a dental crown, we reshape your tooth. This is done for two reasons.
First, we remove the part that has been damaged or weakened in some way. Second, this allows us to create an abutment from the healthy parts of the tooth to support the crown.
When your crown is ready, it will be bonded to your tooth, and your smile will look complete once again.

What Are Inlays And Onlays?
In a sense, these could be considered partial crowns. They can be used to fix problems that are too large for dental bonding but are too small to require a dental crown.
Inlays and onlays are a more conservative treatment than a dental crown. They require removing less of your tooth structure, which also means they help to preserve more of the healthy parts of your tooth.
Inlays and onlays can be particularly beneficial for the teeth in the back of your mouth.
An inlay is used to fix the inner part of the surface of a molar. An onlay would be used to repair cusps of teeth where decay that has affected a wider part of the surface of the tooth.
Since our ceramic inlays and onlays are made with the same materials as our dental crowns, you can count on them to look like natural teeth when they are bonded to your teeth.

Restorative Dentistry Has Come A Long Way
Even before dentistry was recognized as its own field, people were doing what they could to maintain the appearance of their smiles and the function of their teeth.
For a long time, metals (like gold) were the standard for dental crowns. This was because gold was durable and it could restore the function of the tooth. Cosmetics were a non-factor.
Porcelain was first used to make dental crowns in the late 1700s, although it took much longer to make these crowns. It’s also fair to say that these early porcelain crowns were more delicate than you may like for a tooth replacement.
In the mid-1900s, porcelain crowns were attached to metal bases. This made the crowns sturdier (even if they weren’t great for patients with metal allergies).
With more research, the ceramics used to make all-porcelain crown become stronger and more durable. That’s why today it’s possible to get a dental crown that looks, feels, and functions like a real tooth (for all practical purposes) … and without a metal base.
Odds are you know someone who has a dental crown, even if you don’t realize it.
But that’s good news for you, too. If you do need a dental crown, inlay, or onlay, other people may not have any idea that part of your smile is “fake.”

Take Advantage Of Our Services
As long as people have tooth decay or accidents involving their teeth, there will be a need for restorative dentistry.
But that’s only part of what we can do for you at our Louisville, KY, dentist office. Dr. Kiran Gill also has training and experience in Smile Design, which means she can help with many cosmetic services as well.
If you want to prevent problems, our team will be happy to help with dental cleanings and exams as well as gum disease treatments.
To learn more about our crowns, inlays, onlays, or any of our other services, start by contacting Natural Smiles online or by calling (502) 414-0146.

Give Us A Call To Schedule
Your Appointment

4010 Dupont Circle, Suite 469,
Louisville, KY 40207

Latest From Our Blog