Partial crowns are also known as inlays and onlays. When a patient suffers from tooth decay or damage that does not warrant an extraction, but cannot be treated with standard fillings. In such cases, dental inlays and onlays or partial crowns help restore the teeth to their original strength. Inlays and onlays or partial crowns are nothing but a modified version of standard fillings. Also known as indirect fillings, the material required for inlays and onlays or partial crowns is prepared in a laboratory, unlike the conventional fillings. The structures are a go-to procedure when the patient needs replacement or removal of old fillings.
What is the difference between Inlays and Onlays?
The primary difference between inlays and onlays is their area of application. While inlays are applied to the inside of the cusps of the teeth, onlays are applied to the biting surface and can fill more than one cusp across the tooth. Generally, inlays are used for small areas while onlays repair large areas. However, both inlays and onlays are manufactured using materials like composite resins, gold or ceramics owing to their durability.
How are partial crowns placed?
As stated earlier, inlays and onlays are manufactured in a separate dental lab before applying them to the tooth. Due to the preparation required the procedure is divided into two stages:
The first visit to the dentist involves cleaning of the affected area. The dentist numbs the affected area by applying a local anesthetic. Following this, the affected area is drilled and cleaned to get rid of the decay or damage and to prepare the tooth for an inlay or onlay. The next step in the procedure is to take an impression of the cavity formed in the affected tooth.
There are two ways to get the mold of the damaged tooth. The basic and most popular way is to use dental putty and fill the cavity to get a perfect mold. The second way utilizes digital imaging to analyze the size and shape of the inlay or onlay that is to be manufactured. The images or the mold is sent to the dental laboratory where an inlay or onlay is crafted that would exactly fit the patient’s tooth.
As stated earlier, inlays and onlays are crafted using a variety of materials. However, the most preferred material is porcelain owing to its color, which matches the natural color of the teeth. The dentist then creates a temporary restoration to protect your tooth until the inlay or onlay is ready.
During the second appointment, the dentist removes the temporary restoration and ensures that the inlay fits perfectly. If the inlay or onlay fits in the cavity perfectly, the dentist binds them using a strong resin adhesive. The final step of the procedure involves polishing the inlay or the onlay to ensure a pleasing aesthetic finish.
The patient does not feel severe discomfort or pain during the procedure. In case the patient suffers from acute pain, they can take over the counter medication to relieve the pain.
What are the benefits of partial crowns?
Partial crowns are preferred over metal fillings for the following reasons:
- They are durable: The material used in crafting inlays or onlays ensures their durability. The hard-wearing and robust materials make the inlays and onlays last for as long as 30 years.
- Provide increased strength: Metal fillings are known to diminish teeth power by 50 percent. However, inlays and onlays help increase teeth strength up to 75 percent.
- Prolong tooth life: Inlays and onlays are known to prolong tooth life. Furthermore, the procedure shields the patient from the need for dental treatment in the future.
Historic Hyde Park Dentistry has been transforming smiles for Decades. Dr. Lori, along with her team, uses state-of-the-art technology to dental problems and reconstruct malaligned teeth to provide aesthetic and healthy smiles. For inquiries & appointments, please reach out to us at 813-253-3041. You can also visit our office at 612 West De Leon Street, in Tampa, FL 33606.