When A Tooth Needs A Partial Crown

partial crownA full crown could treat cavities, infections, or even issues with shape and color. But what if you have an issue that isn’t quite severe enough for a full crown? In today’s blog, your Kahoka, MO, dentist talks about how we treat oral health issues with custom-made ceramic inlays and onlays. 

Cavities and Injuries

When you endure a cavity or injury a partial crown is often a good choice. Cavities are a type of dental decay that is typically influenced by lifestyle choices, like your diet. Sugary and acidic foods are often big contributors.  Your genetics can also affect how susceptible you are. It is crucial to treat tooth decay as quickly as possible, so it doesn’t end up hurting the nerves deeper in your teeth.

Injuries can also necessitate partial crowns. External trauma can damage teeth to a point where a crown is required to maintain their strength. Moreover, a crown — partial or otherwise — can help ensure the damage doesn’t increase and hurt the tooth any deeper than it has initially. When you come in to talk to your dentist about a crown, they will be able to inspect the affected tooth and determine whether a full or partial crown is the best option for your specific needs.

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are the two types of partial crowns. Inlays are used when a cavity is too large for a typical filling. An inlay is created by using a single ceramic piece to fill the cavity. The main difference between an inlay and a filling is that the former can secure a larger portion of the damaged or decayed tooth.

An onlay, on the other hand, goes on top of the tooth rather than inside of it. It is similar to a traditional crown but is smaller and doesn’t go over the entire tooth. It just covers the damaged portion and is made from porcelain. This makes it virtually indistinguishable from the rest of your smile.

Crafting Your Restoration 

If your dentist determines that a dental inlay or onlay is the best course of action, then will use the latest digital X-rays and imaging technology to take precise measurements of your teeth and create a mold. The partial filling will then be made according to these measurements. Your dentist will then bond the restoration in place when you come in for your next visit. When you come in for this procedure, we will talk to you about every step of the process, so you know exactly what to expect.


Our team is ready to help you enjoy a strong, healthy, and beautiful smile. To find out more about how we treat common oral health concerns, then contact your Kahoka, MO, dentist, Dr. Barbour, by calling 660-727-4746.