The Difference Between Dental Crowns and Inlays and Onlays

The Difference Between Dental Crowns and Inlays and Onlays

July 1, 2023
Placing a dental crown, inlay, and Onlay enhances the look of teeth while ensuring good functionality. The dentist uses a cap when he/she notices sufficient tooth damage that needs a fix to regain its functionality and health. Onlays and inlays are the same as crowns, but they are suitable for those with still have some healthy tooth structure and do not need a complete crown.
An onlay covers one or multiple tooth cusps. But, an inlay stays inside the cusp of a tooth. Furthermore, Inlays and Onlays are small in size and resemble the shade of a tooth. This feature makes these restorations virtually undetectable by others. However, they do not mask the whole tooth, which signifies a risk of tooth damage.

What is a Dental Crown?

Dental crowns are the restorations placed on the top of tooth roots to cover and restore the tooth shape. These restorations are more than just a repair. During the process, the dentist eliminates and cleans the tooth decay and puts a cap on the tooth.
This restoration shields the whole tooth structure above the gum lining without exposing the real tooth. Many people prefer dental crowns in Irvine due to their discreteness and long lifespan.

Advantages of Crowns

Below are the advantages of crowns to keep in mind:
  • They can shield a tooth after root canal therapy.
  • Crowns can make a badly cracked tooth stable.
  • The dentist can tailor a dental cap to resemble the shape and shade of a natural tooth.

Disadvantages of Crowns

Below are the disadvantages of dental crowns to keep in mind:
  • They are costly.
  • For the crown placement, the dentist needs to shave down the real tooth.
  • The procedure can make the patient more prone to sensitivity to cold and hot things.

What Are Inlays and Onlays?

Inlays and onlays mask cosmetic flaws in teeth that are usually in the back. When the dentist finds the damage not minute enough for a filling and not extensive enough for a crown, he/she performs both these treatments.
An inlay consists of one solid portion manufactured as per the cavity size and shape. However, an onlay is more inclusive when compared to an inlay but less than a dental crown. Therefore, this restoration seals tooth cusps and cavities.

Advantages of Inlays and Onlays

Below are the advantages of inlays and onlays to keep in mind:
  • They shield the real tooth.
  • These restorations provide more coverage when compared to dental fillings.
  • The dentist can create an inlay and onlay to look like real teeth.

Disadvantages of Inlays and Onlays

Below are the disadvantages of inlays and onlays to keep in mind:
  • They have a short lifespan and can become loose sometimes.
  • The procedure requires at least two dental visits.

Differences Between Crowns and Inlays and Onlays

In this section, we will compare both of these treatments.
  • The main difference between crown v/s inlays, and onlays is that dental caps mask the entire tooth above the gum line, while inlays and onlays cover a tooth portion.
  • Unlike inlays and onlays, the ​​dentist in East Irvine uses crowns to address more serious decay.
  • Dental caps are more durable than onlays and inlays. Therefore, you can expect them to stay up to 10 to 15 years with proper care.
  • Unlike ​dental crowns near you, inlays and onlays are minimally invasive dental treatments. The dentist removes a tiny portion of the tooth to fix an onlay. Therefore, it does not require the loss of healthy tooth material. But the dentist needs to shave down the tooth during a crown process.
  • Getting inlays and onlays is a good choice when the tooth damage is minor, and the patient has sufficient healthy tooth structure remaining.
  • Inlays and onlays are more affordable than crowns.
Depending on the size and severity of the decayed region, the professional may conduct one of these two procedures.

Inlays and Onlays v/s Crowns: Which One is the Better Option?

The dentists at Premium Dental will help you determine which option will be better for your infected or damaged tooth.

When Inlays and Onlays Are the Best Options for Tooth Restoration?

The dentist recommends inlays and onlays:
  • If the majority of teeth are still healthy.
  • If the tooth decay is too large to be repaired with a dental filling.
Therefore, the procedure is ideal for people with moderate tooth decay.

When Are Full Crowns the Best Option for Tooth Restoration?

The dentist recommends dental caps when:
  • The tooth is severely cracked or decayed.
  • The tooth gets damaged with no healthy portion remaining.