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Crowns vs Inlays and Onlays
Charlotte, NC

Diagram of inlay and onlayIf you develop a large cavity which cannot be easily repaired by a traditional direct amalgam or composite resin filling, Dr. Allen and Dr. Crystal at Myers Park Dental Partners may recommend a crown or an inlay or onlay treatment for you.

Crowns, inlays, and onlays are custom-fitted dental restorations which can be made from various materials and offer strong and long-lasting protection for your weakened, decayed, and chipped teeth.

Dental Crowns

A dental crown looks like the visible part of your tooth. It is a dental restoration cap that fits over the crown of your natural tooth and covers the tooth completely from the top down to the gum line. This dental restoration option typically follows a root canal treatment.

Dental crowns are made from a variety of different materials including gold alloy, metal-based alloy, porcelain-fused-to-metal, porcelain, and composite resin. Out of these, porcelain crowns are the most esthetically pleasing ones.


An inlay is also a type of indirect filling since it is not directly applied to the tooth. Instead, inlays are fabricated in dental labs based on the exact size and shape of your tooth. Inlays cover the pits and fissures of your molars tightly and are more durable than traditional fillings.

Inlays are applied to your teeth when your cavity cannot be easily repaired by a dental filling but is not deep enough for root canal therapy.


An onlay is similar to an indirect filling except that it not just covers the pits and grooves of the teeth but extends to the cusps as well. Hence, an onlay is a good treatment choice for extensive tooth damage. However, if the infection has reached the dental pulp, even onlays may not be able to repair your teeth and you will require a root canal therapy and a dental crown to fix the issue.

Difference Between Crowns and Inlays and Onlays

A dental crown is in the shape of a tooth and covers the entire exposed structure of the tooth. Because of this, it is the strongest and most durable type of tooth restoration option. A crown is used to protect a natural tooth that has undergone a root canal therapy to get rid of deep-rooted infection. In addition, dental crowns are also used to cap a dental implant, which is used to replace a missing tooth.

Dental crown requires significant erosion of the enamel so that it can fit tightly to your tooth. This can increase the risk of tooth fracture. Inlays and onlays only cover the tooth partially and help the tooth regain its strength and integrity. They are not as strong as dental crowns but can still last for several years. Inlays and onlays also involve a very small percentage of enamel removal so they are better for the health of the natural tooth.

At Myers Park Dental Partners, Dr. Allen and Dr. Crystal we may recommend one of these treatment options or a combination of all three depending on the health of your teeth.

Schedule an Appointment With Us

If you notice a cavity, do not wait for it to become bigger. Call at (704) 332-2532 today and we will determine whether you need a direct filling, indirect filling, or a dental crown to treat it.
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Crowns vs Inlays and Onlays | Dentist | Myers Park Dental Partners
If you notice a cavity, do not wait for it to become bigger. Call Myers Park Dental Partners today so we can determine the best treatment option for you!
Myers Park Dental Partners, 1000 Queens Rd, Charlotte, NC 28207-1860 ~ (704) 332-2532 ~ ~ 5/2/2024 ~ Page Terms:dentist ~