August 13th, 2015
From putting on caps to placing dental veneers, dentists do a lot of interesting things to keep your teeth in tip-top shape. If you live your daily life outside of the dental world, you might find all of the stuff we do to be a bit confusing. We’re here to break down some of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments we offer at Water Tower Dental Care to help you better understand which procedures can best help your smile. Here’s the difference between caps, crowns, veneers, onlays, inlays and fillings.
Dental Crowns and Caps are actually the same thing. Dentists place crowns, or caps, on a tooth for three reasons: when it needs more strength, to keep two parts of a cracked tooth together, or to add material to a broken tooth or a worn down tooth. Typically, the materials used include metal, porcelain or a variety of the two. Learn about our CEREC One-Visit Crowns here!
Dental Veneers are used for purely cosmetic purposes, masking crooked, gapped, chipped, broken, worn down, stained or oddly-shaped teeth. Veneers are extremely thin pieces of porcelain or resin composite materials that are bonded to the front surface of your teeth to make them look better. We offer Minimal Prep and Porcelain Veneers at our Chicago dentist office.
Onlays are used to fill in large cavities that are too severe for a normal filling, but not severe enough to require a crown. Onlays cover one or more of the rounded edges of your teeth, or your entire tooth’s chewing surface. They can look just like your natural tooth and are typically made up of gold, porcelain or composite metal. Onlays require your dentist to remove less of your natural tooth than crowns. This is why they are sometimes called partial crowns.
Dental Inlays are used for the same purpose as onlays, but only fill in the space between the rounded edges of your tooth, at the center of its chewing surface. They fill in a tooth that is too damaged for a filling, but not so severe that it needs a crown.
Fillings are used to replace decayed portions of your tooth (cavities) with fillers, such as gold, porcelain, silver amalgam, composite resin fillings or tooth-colored plastic. Fillings can also be used to fix and improve the appearance of broken or worn-down teeth.
Now you’re one step closer to becoming a dental expert! If you have any more questions about your teeth or dental solutions, feel free to chat with us. We would love to help put you on a better path to a healthy smile for the rest of your life with better knowledge about your teeth.