What Are Inlays and Onlays?
They are alternative types of dental fillings for repairing and restoring damaged teeth. Inlays and onlays typically feature porcelain material, making them ceramic or porcelain fillings. These indirect fillings are created as a single solid piece outside the mouth, then placed through a dental bonding procedure.
Inlays & onlays in Fanwood, New Jersey, are different from your typical dental fillings because they need two separate dental visits. Instead of applying the filling material on your tooth directly, your dentist at Fanwood Family and Cosmetic Dentistry will make a mold of your tooth. Afterward (s)he will create the dental restoration in a dental laboratory.
The dentist would first remove the damaged portion of your tooth enamel before taking the impressions on your tooth. The impressions will then help the dentist tailor the perfectly-fitting inlay or onlay for your treatment.
Onlays Vs. Dental Crowns
Onlays are the best indirect fillings to compare to dental crowns because they are more similar. Their similarities begin from the materials they feature to the method of creation. Both dental crowns and onlays can feature porcelain or gold material. Porcelain restorations are preferable for their aesthetic advantage. Besides that, dental crowns and onlays are created in a dental laboratory. Therefore, you need to wait for about two weeks before installing the oral appliance of choice.
Even then, their differences remain vivid. An onlay covers the crown of a tooth partially, usually the cusps and the elevated part of the tooth, hence the name, a partial crown. A dental crown, on the other hand, fully encapsulates a tooth. The benefits of each are necessary for successful dental procedures in dentistry. Onlays have the following advantages over dental crowns:
- A less invasive procedure – when installing an onlay, your dentist in Fanwood will not need to shave your entire tooth enamel to make room for it, a step typical for dental crowns. Instead, the dentist will remove only the damaged part of your tooth structure to replace it with an onlay.
- Onlays may be cheaper than dental crowns – since they cover a small surface, onlays can be less expensive. Onlays typically range between $650 to $1,200 per tooth, while dental crowns can cost about $500 to $3,000 per tooth.
Still, dental crowns have some overriding advantages to onlays, including the following:
- Can hold large dental fillings in place – if you get a direct tooth filling like amalgams or composite fillings, dental crowns help hold the tooth in place.
- Strengthen teeth – since a dental crown encapsulates the entire tooth enamel, it strengthens its framework, increasing its functionality and durability.
- Natural-looking results – although onlays and dental crowns feature similar materials, dental crowns are more natural-looking. You do not have to worry about demarcation lines that can show where a tooth grown begins and where it ends. It might be a concern when you get onlays.
- Prevents further damage to a tooth – the entire external framework of a tooth is protected by the dental cap, reducing cases of direct bacterial infection to your natural tooth.
Which One Should You Choose?
If you have to choose between dental crowns and onlays, liaise with your dentist for an informed decision. Other than your preferences, many factors should influence your choice, including:
- The extent of tooth damage – if too much of your tooth structure is damaged, a crown would be more suitable than an onlay.
- Conservative nature of the treatment – if you are a conservative patient, an onlay would suit you better than a dental crown.
- Cost – which of the two dental restorations can you afford? Even with dental insurance, you may have to pay some of the cost of your treatment out of pocket.
- The need for other procedures – if the dentist has to perform other dental works before placing the dental restoration, it will affect your decision. For instance, if you need a root canal procedure first, a dental crown would work better for holding your tooth in place for a long time.
- Sturdiness – dental crowns are better at strengthening teeth than onlays or inlays.
- Nature of procedure – is your treatment an elective procedure or a dental emergency?