When a tooth is too damaged to support a tooth filling, but not damaged enough for a dental crown, you end up somewhere in between. Capping a damaged tooth unnecessarily with a dental crown removes more tooth structure than needed. But a large filling can weaken the remaining structure of the tooth, causing the tooth to break, crack, or eventually need a root canal.
When your are faced with the choice between a large tooth filling or a dental crown, do you save money now and risk major dental problems down the line or undergo possibly an unwanted dental treatment? Dental onlays fall somewhere in between dental fillings and dental crowns. Onlays restore large cavities without having to use a crown.
Dr. James L. Johnson