Crowns, Fillings, Inlays, and Onlays: An Overview from Your Glencoe Dentist

Most patients don’t have vast knowledge of dentistry. That’s what you rely on your dentist for, right? There can be a lot of confusing dental terms. You may be familiar with some, but have never heard of others. Some procedures may even get confused with others. Knowledge is power as you pursue good dental health. Your Glencoe dentist, Dr. Brent A. Engelberg, will provide you with an overview of several restorative procedures that sometimes have a cosmetic spin.


When you go to the dentist for a regular checkup, you will always be examined for tooth decay, also known as cavities. If you should present with some level of decay, your dentist will want you to schedule an appointment to remove the infected and decaying portion of your tooth. You can’t go about your life with a gaping hole in your tooth, and you need to protect the roots from future bacterial infestation. For this reason, your tooth will be filled with either silver amalgam or tooth-colored composite-resin. The latter material is most often chosen these days by patients and dentists alike, because of aesthetics and functionality.


Inlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. They are prefabricated pieces that are bonded to the damaged area of the tooth. Similar to a filling, but offering a bit more in terms of tooth reinforcement, an inlay is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth.


An onlay is very similar to an inlay, but extends out, or over, one or more of the cusps of the tooth. Onlays are recommended when a more substantial reinforcement than a filling or onlay is necessary, but a crown can still be avoided.


Dental crowns are designed to completely encircle a tooth. When a substantial cavity threatens the health of a tooth, or a significant portion of the top of a tooth has broken, a crown may be recommended. Crowns can be made from a variety of materials, and are adhered to the remains of the tooth with dental cement. With the utilization of tooth-colored materials, crowns can not only improve the strength of a tooth, but also the appearance.

Contact Your Glencoe Cosmetic Dentist

To schedule a consultation for any of your dental needs, call our 60061 dentist office at 847-259-8030. We are happy to serve patients in Northbrook, Deerfield, Highland Park, Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Vernon Hills, Lincolnshire, Libertyville, Skokie, Evanston, Palatine, Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village, Rolling Meadows, Northwest Chicago Suburbs, and Northern Chicago Suburbs.