There are other options to repair your tooth. Dental implants are your best option when you’re missing your tooth, or we can’t save it. But when we can save your tooth, or you’re looking for cosmetic enhancements, there are a few options available.
Dental Inlays – A Restoration For A Cavity
Inlays are similar to a filling, but they typically cover more and are more durable. They’re made in a lab, specifically for your tooth, whereas a filling is a composite material that molds to the shape of filling you need.
When your tooth needs more attention than a filling can provide, we prefer a full crown. It’s the most durable option and is better at keeping bacteria out of your damaged tooth. For this reason, we don’t offer inlays.
Dental Onlays – Wrap Around The Cusps of Your Teeth
Onlays are more like a dental crown, but they only cover the biting surface of your tooth and spill over the edge to just cover the cusps (the raised points on the top of your tooth). Dentists use onlays when your tooth has suffered a lot of damage and wouldn’t hold up under the outward pressures of a filling. They fill the space from the damage and hold the tooth together by covering part of the edges. Onlays are made in a lab of ceramic or other materials such as gold.
While an onlay can correct more damage than an inlay, we still prefer a full coverage dental crown. You’ll get better protection and an evenly colored tooth because the entire thing is covered. We don’t offer onlays because we know there is a better option.
Porcelain Dental Veneers – Wafer Thin, Custom-Made Shells of Tooth-Colored Material
Dental veneers or porcelain veneers are thin sheets of ceramic that cover only the front of your tooth. They’re versatile and can correct several cosmetic issues like crookedness, discoloration, small teeth, and small chips. Dental veneers are made in a lab from a composite material. You’ll have an evenly colored tooth and a smile that looks as good as new from the front.
But we still prefer full coverage dental crowns. Behind your veneers, your teeth aren’t protected, and in the case of crooked teeth, it’s easy to get food caught and hard to get it out. We offer porcelain veneers for purely cosmetic reasons because they do not repair your tooth when it’s damaged and hurting. We can help you decide between a full coverage dental crown and porcelain veneers during an initial consultation. We’ll look at the condition of your teeth, level of damage, and your budget.