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What Are Three-Quarter Crowns?

Three Quarter Crowns, inlays onlaysWhat happens when your tooth is too broken down for a filling, but doesn’t quite need the full coverage of a crown? For most dental patients, their dentist opts to go ahead and do the crown.

Not at our Andover office!

At Andover Dental Group, we offer lab-made restorations called inlays and onlays for unique situations just like this. With an inlay or onlay, we’re able to:

  • Maximize the remaining healthy enamel
  • Perform a less-invasive restorative procedure
  • Extend the life of your tooth

Inlays and onlays go by many different names, including three-quarter crowns and lab-made fillings. Essentially, they cover or fill a larger part of your tooth than a filling, but don’t cover more than 2/3 or 3/4 of your tooth – making them smaller than a crown.

What’s the Difference?

Depending on what part of your tooth is damaged, an inlay fills decayed areas, while an onlay covers areas such as the broken cusps of your tooth’s biting surface.

A Two-Part Process

The process itself is usually a two-step treatment. At your first visit, our Andover dentist will numb your tooth and remove the damaged or decayed portion. After we take an impression, a temporary material is placed into your tooth to prevent any sensitivity. We use this impression to lab-manufacture a custom inlay/onlay, which is usually ready within two weeks. At the next visit, we’ll remove the temporary filling and bond the inlay/onlay inside or onto your tooth.

Depending on the location of your tooth, your inlay or onlay may be made of quality porcelain or gold materials. Porcelain is custom matched to blend in with your surrounding teeth, while gold is preferred if the area is susceptible to excessive force.

If you’ve been told that you need a crown, call Andover Dental Group to find out if an inlay or onlay is a better option!

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