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Crowns & Onlays

Crowns or Onlays (partial crowns) are used to reshape your tooth or when there is insufficient tooth strength remaining to hold a filling. Unlike fillings, which apply the restorative material directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth.

Dental Crowns are a restorative procedure that are used to improve shape and strength of your cracked, damaged, or decayed tooth. A dental crown is often an alternative and better option to teeth extraction and used to save your natural tooth that is broken, worn, or has portion of it destroyed by tooth decay. A dental crown can also anchor a dental bridge, which is a replacement option for a lost tooth.


Types of Crowns

Dental crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, Gold or combination of all. Type of Dental Crowns are:

  • All Porcelain Crowns or Ceramic Crowns: the entire thickness of the crown is porcelain.

  • Porcelain Fused to Metal Crowns (PFM): has aesthetic ceramic material surface covering a metal-alloys substructure. Over time, the ceramic can separate from metal and a dark metal will become visible at the gum line.

  • Metal Crowns: which the entire thickness of the crown is made of metal-alloys.



Although there are several types of crowns, all porcelain crowns are the most popular.  They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced.  Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color of your teeth, giving you a long-lasting, beautiful smile.

What does getting a crown involve?

A crown procedure usually requires two appointments.  Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown.  A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory.


While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown.  At your second appointment, your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate. You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.



What happens if my temporary crown comes off?

If your temporary crown falls off before we can provide you with your permanent dental crown, please call our office immediately. Try to gently place the temporary crown back over your exposed tooth to help avoid discomfort. The exposed dentin can cause sensitivity and greatly impact the function of your bite, so it’s important that we see you as soon as possible to reattach the temporary crown.



An onlay restoration is a custom made filling made of composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain.  An onlay is sometimes also referred to as a partial crown.  It is made by a professional dental laboratory and is permanently cemented onto the tooth by your dentist.


Onlays can be utilized to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma.  Onlays are an ideal alternative to crowns (caps) because less tooth structure is removed in the preparation of onlays.  Onlays are essentially identical to inlays with the exception that one or more of the chewing cusps have also been affected and need to be included in the restoration.


As with most dental restorations, onlays are not always permanent and may someday require replacement.  They are highly durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.


Reasons for onlay restorations:

  • Broken or fractured teeth.

  • Cosmetic enhancement.

  • Decayed teeth.

  • Fractured fillings.

  • Large fillings.


What does getting an onlay involve?

An onlay procedure usually requires two appointments.  Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate impressions (molds) that will be used to create your custom onlay and a temporary restoration.


While the tooth is numb, the dentist will remove any decay and/or old filling materials.  The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared, shaping the surface to properly fit an onlay restoration.  A temporary filling will be applied to protect the tooth while your onlay is made by a dental laboratory.


At your second appointment, your new onlay will be carefully and precisely cemented into place.  A few adjustments may be necessary to ensure a proper fit and that your bite is comfortable.


You will receive care instruction at the conclusion of your treatment.  Good oral hygiene practices, a proper diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new onlay.


We sincerely want you to love your smile!

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