Crowns, Inlays, and Onlays Explained by Your Chicago Dentist

Experienced with enhancing smiles, Dr. James Fondriest utilizes crowns, inlays, and onlays in restorative dentistry. Crowns, inlays, and onlays are restorative methods that save decayed and worn-down teeth from extraction while also restoring the function of damaged teeth. When possible, our team at Lake Forest Dental Arts strives to restore smiles with conservative approaches.

The Differences Between Crowns, Inlays, and Onlays

  • Crowns – Crowns can be made from porcelain, ceramic, porcelain fused to metal, gold, and zirconia. In most cases, we try to use natural-looking crowns made from ceramic or porcelain that resemble the rest of your teeth. A crown is a cap that covers the entire visible portion of the tooth. They restore the size and shape of teeth as well as tooth function. Some patients with infection present in the interior structures of their teeth may need root canal therapy prior to crown placement.
  • Inlays – This type of restorative method is like the middle ground between fillings and crowns. Inlays are made from porcelain and are used to restore teeth with large areas of decay. Inlays are only placed between the cusps of the teeth.
  • Onlays – Similar to an inlay, an onlay restores the function and shape of teeth. Patients with significant decay on the cusps of teeth or patients with cuspal fractures benefit from onlays. Unlike crowns, onlays do not cover the entire visible portion of the teeth. Instead, onlays cover the cusp or cusps of the tooth.

For our patients with worn down, damaged, or decayed teeth, crowns, inlays, and onlays are an excellent option for restoring the look and function of a smile. If you are in need of restorative dentistry, count on Lake Forest Dental Arts to help you every step of the way. To schedule an appointment at our Chicago dentist office, contact us at (847) 234-0517. We serve patients from the surrounding Chicago neighborhoods.