Dental Onlay vs. crown
It may be helpful to think of dental onlay as a method of tooth repair and a dental crown as method of tooth replacement. (This is true only of the crown of the tooth, not the root. Both tooth restoration options preserve the tooth root.) A dental onlay is used when a filling is not quite enough to seal the cavity while still preserving the tooth structure, but when a crown is not yet required. The process of the dental onlay involves removing the decay from the crown of the tooth and then replacing it with a custom-designed piece that strengthens the tooth while preserving as much of its natural crown as possible.
A dental crown, on the other hand, is a replacement for the tooth’s natural crown. A crown is called for when the tooth is either cracked or broken, or when several cavities have damaged more of the crown than can be repaired with a filling, inlay, or onlay. The process for installing a dental crown involves first filing the tooth surface and sides down to make room for the prosthetic crown. An impression is then taken so that the lab can custom create your permanent crown, which will be placed during a second visit.
With proper dental care, both dental crowns can last up to 15 years, depending on the materials used.
When it comes to onlay vs crown, your dentist will opt for the one that preserves as much of your tooth as possible without threatening its structure.
Dental Onlay vs filling
Dental fillings and dental onlays are both used to restore health and function to a decayed tooth, but they are different in two important ways. First, they’re different in size. A dental filling requires just a small amount of filling substance to seal off the space left behind with the removal of decay. Dental inlays and onlays are used when the cavity is larger than a standard filling can handle while still preserving the tooth structure. Onlays in particular are used when the tooth requires repair on the cusp (the raised point on the crown of the tooth) as well as the top of the crown. Second, onlays and fillings differ in the way they fill the space. Fillings are done in a single visit, with the use of amalgam, gold, composite, or ceramic. Onlays requires more time because the solid, customized replacement piece is made in a lab and then later bonded to the tooth during the second visit.
With proper dental care, fillings can last up to 10 years, and onlays and inlays can last 10 to 15.
When it comes to dental onlay vs filling, your dentist will opt for the one that best fills your cavity while also preserving your tooth structure.