It’s easy for you to detect a cracked tooth or a dental cavity in your tooth by feeling it with your tongue. When you do find a damaged tooth it’s important to get it taken care of right away.
There are several restorative treatments that can be used to correct cavities in your teeth. Beyond getting a small cavity filled, dental inlays, onlays, and crowns are common dental coverings used to seal cracked and decayed teeth.
Unlike tooth replacement procedures such as dental implants and bridges, these dental restorative methods are aimed at preserving your teeth. However, it’s a common concern whether inlays and onlays edge over dental crowns.
Well, let’s dig deeper. Dental Inlays and Onlays
Both dental inlays and onlays are alternatives to dental fillings and are mainly made of porcelain. They are commonly referred to as three-quarter crowns since they leave a portion of your tooth exposed, unlike crowns which cover every part of your tooth above the gum line.
Inlays spread into deep dental cavity areas whereas onlays cover your tooth’s cusps (the bumps on the biting surface of your teeth). Because dental fillings are not suitable to cover large areas of dental decay and may easily fall out over a period of time, both inlays and onlays can be perfect restorative solutions without having to get a crown, which is more costly.
What Are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns imitate the structure of your tooth above the gum line and cover the whole visible surface of the decayed or damaged tooth. They serve to protect your tooth from further damage and infections besides strengthening it. They are made from various materials including porcelain, ceramic, and metal. Metallic crowns provide the greatest strength while ceramic crowns provide the best aesthetic results.
Which is Best?
Dental Inlays/Onlays or Crowns? If your tooth has not decayed too badly, inlays and onlays are less invasive and much less expensive than crowns, although you can get a crown instead if you prefer. But if the tooth is too damaged a crown will be your only option, other than having the tooth pulled and getting an implant or bridge.
In order to restore your damaged tooth, a dentist may use dental crowns, inlays, or onlays. Inlays and Onlays only cover a portion of your tooth while a crown covers the whole tooth structure above the gum line.
Although crowns offer more strength than inlays and onlays, they are more expensive. Therefore, it's highly advisable to consider inlays and onlays for tooth restoration, unless your teeth are severely damaged, whereby crowns become the preferred restoration. Listen to your dentist’s advice for the best solution.