What is a crown?
A crown is a cap that is placed over the whole tooth and is held in place by dental adhesive or cement. Crowns are used to restore broken down teeth and to protect fractured or root treated teeth. Crowns can also be used to improve ascetics and tooth angulation if there are spaces, irregularly shaped or discoloured teeth. Crowns can be made from resin, ceramic, gold or porcelain fused to metal.
What is the difference between an inlay and onlay?
And inlay fits within the confines of the tooth whereas an onlay covers the entire chewing surface of the tooth. Inlays and onlays can be constructed from gold, resin or porcelain. Your dentist will assess your needs with a thorough clinical examination and x-rays. They will discuss the options available, advice on material choices and treatment sequence and answer any questions you may have.
What is the process for a crown, inlay or onlay?
At the preparation appointment the old fillings and decay are removed and the tooth is trimmed to create just enough space for the crown, inlay or onlay restoration. A putty or digital impression is taken for the skilled laboratory technician to create your bespoke restoration. During the two weeks when your restoration is being constructed, your prepared tooth will be covered with a temporary restoration until your new restoration is cemented at the fitting appointment.
How strong is a crown, inlay or onlay?
Crowns, inlays and onlays are made of inner materials that do not deteriorate overtime. Ceramic on the surface may chip or fracture so it is recommended that you avoid chewing excessively hard substances like ice or bones. Depending on your bite, you might be advised to wear a thin night guard to protect your teeth and distribute grinding forces. The underlying tooth is still prone to decay and gum disease, so daily brushing, flossing and interdental cleaning are essential for maintaining good oral health, especially at the junction between your tooth and your restoration.