Dental crowns (or caps) and onlays are treatment options for teeth that have been damaged.
Crowns / Caps
Dental crowns (or caps) are a treatment option for teeth that have been significantly damaged, decayed, or have become unattractive in ways that can’t be fixed through veneers or fillings. A crown is essentially a ‘covering’ that encases the entire tooth surface from its top to below the gum line, thus protecting and strengthening its structure and helping restore your smile.
A crown effectively rebuilds a highly damaged tooth back to its original shape and size. As it is bonded to your existing tooth, a crown provides you with a fully functional chewing surface. There are different types of crowns, with porcelain currently being the most popular. Crowns are carefully molded and crafted to match the exact shape, size, and specific colour of your teeth. Highly durable, a crown will last many years and ‘becomes your tooth’ for all functional and appearance purposes.
A dental onlay is another option that can be considered when a tooth is cracked or partially damaged. Similar in principle to a crown, a dental onlay is a custom designed piece of material used to fill the damaged part of the tooth and restore a normal, natural appearance
What’s the difference between a crown and an onlay?
Unlike a crown, an onlay does NOT cover the entire tooth. Made from either porcelain or resin, an onlay is created from an impression of the damaged tooth and is then bonded to it. The repaired tooth will be stronger than before the onlay and the majority of natural enamel and dentin will still be present.