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Crowns vs. Inlays and Onlays
Lake Oswego, OR

Dental crowns, inlays, and onlays are all procedures to help repair damaged teeth or improve them aesthetically. Despite fulfilling the same general purpose, they are not the same procedure. To help dispel any misconceptions, we are happy to help define what each procedure entails. Furthermore, at Nicholas Dose, DMD, our professionals can help you with all three of these options according to your condition and needs.

What Is an Inlay, Onlay, and Crown?

A dental crown is a restoration procedure that involves placing a cap on a damaged or misshapen tooth. It can be referred to as a tooth replacement more than a repair, as well. Crowns are the procedure of choice when the decay is deep or the target tooth sustains a serious fracture. Compared to inlays and onlays, dental crowns are more intensive.

Inlays are used to fix tiny gaps and holes in the cusps of a tooth. Just like crowns, an inlay covers the surface of a tooth, but to a lesser degree. They do not cover the entire surface of a tooth, only small sections. Inlays are the solution for less serious tooth damage or cosmetic dentistry.

Onlays are in-between dental crowns and inlays. It covers much more than an inlay but still does not reach the size of a crown. We will prescribe an onlay if there is more damage, but not as serious as situations requiring dental crowns. Usually, these situations find amalgam fillings obsolete. It covers the cusp of a tooth and is laid in place as a single piece.

All three of them are made of similar materials, but it is the size difference and coverage that separates them from one another. What we prescribe after a dental exam will correspond to the damage that the tooth has sustained.

What are Their Procedures?

For a dental crown, we will first remove some enamel to accommodate the crown. An impression is taken and then a crown will be made. In a second appointment, we will cement the crown after performing more checks to ensure the crown fits.

Both inlays and onlays are very similar in their procedures. After a dental exam, we will remove the decay in the affected tooth and take an impression. Similar to a crown procedure, a second appointment is scheduled and at that time, we will perform checks before placing your inlay or onlay.

Should You Undergo Any of These Procedures?

There are many benefits to getting either an inlay, onlay, or a crown. Not only do you get to restore your teeth to how they originally look, but you can also fix any teeth that look undesirable. All three of these procedures can last for years and all you need to do is follow standard oral health practices. Do take care of your repairs, however, as they can still be damaged.

Getting a tooth repaired quickly will also prevent the damage from worsening and potentially create extra problems. The procedure we may recommend is dependent on your condition and your needs. For example, inlays are a great way to make misshapen teeth look good.

Here at Nicholas Dose, DMD, we are trained in all of the necessary procedures for all three solutions to tooth loss. Please call us at (503) 765-7300 to learn more or schedule an appointment.
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Nicholas Dose, DMD
601 1st Street Suite A
Lake Oswego, OR 97034-2370
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