Onlays or Crowns?

While dentistry has many applications to improve your dental health from root canals, wisdom teeth removal, and dental surgery; sometimes it is all about how pretty your smile is. Many people are afraid or embarrassed to smile because of how their teeth look. At Greenspoint Dental, we believe you should be proud of your smile and wear it every day of the week. What if, however, your smile isn’t the way you would like it to be? This is a situation where cosmetic dentistry may be the choice for you. A major focus of cosmetic dentistry is to improve the aesthetic of your mouth, correcting things such as yellow teeth, chipped teeth, or crooked teeth.

Onlays and crowns are two types of cosmetic dentistry procedures. These two have the same goals: to protect and enhance the appearance of a problematic tooth. There are some differences that make them distinct from one another. Looking to decide which procedure is best for you? Consider the following options:


Natural Feel

Both crowns and onlays are designed to feel comfortable and natural in your mouth, but onlays will simply feel more natural. Why? Onlays are restorative pieces designed at a dental lab that specifically fit your mouth. Your dentist binds the onlay on the exact area of the tooth where restoration is needed, nothing more. Crowns, on the other hand, covers all of the tooth visible above the gum line. Think of it as an extra layer of protection–a “glove” or “sleeve”. You get increased protection at the (small) cost of natural feeling.


Invasive Dentistry

If you are like most people, you do not like having a dentist prodding at your teeth with shiny metal tools. If this is you, onlays may be your best option, as your dentist needs only an impression of the problematic tooth in order to create an onlay. On the other hand, a dental crown must fit properly and snugly over your tooth. A dentist often has to remove obstructive tooth structure in preparation of putting on the crown.


Protection and Decay

What about protection and decay? While onlays may protect your tooth, they are only covering an area of it. A dental crown, on the other hand, sacrifices some natural feeling and tooth structure for better protection. The “sleeve” covers the entire tooth, and is extremely effective in sealing the tooth from future decay. If you are prone to tooth decay, then a crown may be the best choice for you.


Still unsure which procedure you should get? Greenspoint Dental is here to help! For more questions about onlays and crowns, contact our Houston dental offices today.