When people feel sensitivity to one or a few of their teeth, they usually think that they are witnessing the formation of a cavity. This is when most of them are starting preparations for a filling, but the dentist might surprise them by telling them the extent of the damage is so great that a simple filling won’t solve the problem.
In situations like this, the patients are given three options – to use inlays, onlays or crowns. So, what’s the difference between these dental solutions and which one should people choose?
Inlays and onlays are designed for teeth restoration in cases when the teeth are too damaged and when fillings won’t work, but crowns are not necessary. Teeth with an extreme cavity are one example of a situation like this.
It is good to point out that inlays and onlays are quite similar and they are delivering the same type of support to enhance the stability and structure of teeth. They are usually made of composite resin, gold, and porcelain and they are placed on the chewing area of the tooth. This is exactly where inlays and onlays are different. Namely, the uneven part of the teeth that keeps the food stable when we are chewing is the place where the inlays are used. This is the area between the bumps on the teeth. Onlays are used on a wider area and that’s why they are often referred to as partial crowns.
There are teeth that are either extremely damaged or the majority of the tooth’s surface is damaged making a crown the best option. A crown represents an efficient protective covering that is typically made of silver, gold, resin composite or porcelain. It is placed over the tooth. Dentists use dental bonding to keep the crown stable. Crowns are used in different treatments for a wide range of dental problems like broken teeth, fractured teeth, teeth that are extremely misshapen and weak teeth.
Which one to choose?
If you are not sure which option is the best for you – inlay, onlay or crown – it is the best idea to take the price, the length of the treatment and recovery, the durability and the level of damage to the teeth/tooth into account. A professional and experienced dentist should be able to explain the advantages and disadvantages of every treatment.