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Crowns vs. Inlays & Onlays
Portland, OR


Young woman looking in the mirror at Portland City Dental in Portland, OR Have you recently lost a part of your tooth? Is it ruining your appearance or making you uncomfortable? You’ve come to the right place!

The three most popular dental restorations include: inlays, onlays, and crowns. These are dental restorations that can repair the loss of tooth structure. They are mostly made of porcelain and cast materials. While all three options are the best solutions to satisfy your aesthetic demands, they all differ in how they act. Let's look at the differences between crowns, inlays, and onlays so you can make an informed decision.

What Are Crowns?


A crown is a restorative option shaped like a cap. It covers the entire surface of your tooth and is visible just above your gum line. It can distribute the pressure put on your tooth during chewing and biting across the entire surface of the tooth.

Most dentists recommend crowns to patients that have a root canal because their tooth is no longer alive. Crowns and root canals complement each other because the cap helps protect the tooth's remaining structure. After a root canal treatment, an inlay or onlay would not be the best choice because the uncovered tooth enamel can dry out and start to chip away, damaging the tooth further.

What Are Inlays?


Inlays are tooth restorations reserved for damages caused to the tooth by large cavities. They involve removing the damage or decay with a drill and filling the gap with a single, solid piece, usually created in a laboratory. Inlay pieces are mostly made out of ceramic or gold. They have to be made precisely according to the size and shape of the space to prevent bacteria and food from entering the space and resulting in further decay.

An advantage of getting an inlay is that it does not contract much after it is placed, so there is less chance of the restoration failing or a gap being created between the filling and the adjoining teeth. Inlays also help create a tough and much more durable surface for chewing. It is a reliable restorative option for the long term.

What Are Onlays?


An onlay is a non-aggressive restoration as less tooth structure needs to be removed to place it over the tooth. It can fit inside your tooth and also extend onto the chewing surface. It goes over the cusps of your teeth to repair damage and rebuild the structure. The cost of an onlay is similar or slightly lesser than that of a crown.
The only downside of an onlay is that it is difficult to place it correctly. The placement is reliant on the skill of the dentist. The other big issue is that dental insurance rarely covers the cost of an onlay, but it does cover a crown which is why crowns are favored over onlays by both dentists and patients.

Before you decide which dental restoration to get, consult Portland City Dental. We will conduct a thorough examination of your damaged teeth and suggest which of the three restorations - crowns, inlays, or onlays, is perfect for you. Call us at (503) 867-8124 to book your appointment today.


138 SE 80th Ave
Portland, OR 97215-1522

Call Us: (503) 867-8124
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