Crowns & Inlays/Onlays
Our Skokie, IL practice offers dental crown treatment for teeth affected from severe tooth decay, trauma, fractures, or root canal therapy.
At The Stein Center for Advanced Dentistry, we use dental crowns to protect a weakened or damaged tooth when composite fillings or dental bonding is not enough. Restorations must ensure that the risk for tooth infection or further damage is removed. Dental crowns are the restoration treatment for more advanced forms of decay or damage to natural teeth. The dental crowns used today are formed from dental-grade ceramic material and are excellent at protecting your compromised tooth for several reasons:
- Porcelain crowns have a precise fit to protect the inner tooth structure from harmful bacteria and food debris.
- Dental-grade porcelain is created to last and can withstand a lifetime of eating and speaking while providing a attractive, aesthetic appeal.
- Porcelain crowns are hypoallergenic, meaning patients don’t have to worry about allergic reactions or hyper-sensitivity that were often an issue with metal crowns.
What to Expect During Your Treatment
A minimum of two appointments are needed to prep your tooth for a porcelain dental crown. At the first visit, Dr. Stein or Dr. Weiss will examine and prepare the natural tooth, as well as take impressions. Preparing the natural tooth for a dental crown involves removing parts of the outer enamel layers and shaping it to fit neatly inside the final crown. Usually, a temporary cap is placed after the first appointment, until the permanent crown is ready.
Once the permanent crown has been fabricated by a dental ceramicist, it is bonded to the natural tooth. The temporary crown will be removed by your dentist, and the natural tooth is further shaped and smoothed. A resin cement is applied inside the crown, while a bonding agent is applied along the gum line of the tooth. Final shaping of the outer crown will allow for an even, comfortable bite.
As an alternative to full coverage dental crowns, Dr. Stein and Dr. Weiss offer porcelain inlays and onlays. These function much like a “medium” coverage crown. They offer a well-fitted, strong, long-lasting solution for failing restorations, lost fillings or fractured cusps (the pointed portion of the tooth on the biting surface). These restorations are sometimes used in place of dental fillings to fill in larger cavities. While dental fillings are molded into place within the mouth during a single dental visit, inlays and onlays are fabricated in a dental lab before being fitted and bonded to the damaged tooth.
Understanding the Differences
An inlay restoration is when a single piece of porcelain is created to fit the exact size and shape of the tooth’s cavity. An onlay restoration is similar, but typically larger. With onlay treatment, the extent of the damage requires inclusion of one or more cusps of the tooth. Both inlays and onlays are highly durable and with proper care, can last for many years.
Advantages and benefits of inlays and onlays include:
- Tooth color– Inlays and onlays are not likely to discolor over time.
- Superior fit– This conservative approach preserves as much healthy tooth as possible.
- Tight space protection– Inlays are best for sealing teeth to keep out bacteria.
- Strength and stability– Inlays and onlays are extremely stable restorative solutions for the treatment of decay.
- Tooth structure safeguard– Since the fit is tailored at all edges and preparation is minimal, your tooth will be easier to clean.
- Weak tooth protection– An onlay can protect the weak areas of the tooth and the procedure does not require the complete reshaping of the tooth.