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Alternatives to Dental Crowns

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Dental crowns can be a highly versatile option for those seeking to repair and replace damaged, decaying teeth. Among all the modifications your dentists can make with your smile, finding the right procedure for you is a top priority. Crowns, despite all its benefits, can be expensive and highly invasive for patients wishing for tooth repairs. A good dentist will work with you and present multiple options to help you get a better idea of what you can receive for restorative treatment. Below, you’ll find some of our top recommendations for crown alternatives.


This form of tooth restoration works to replace the inside cusp of the tooth instead of covering the tooth’s entirety. Inlays work similarly to fillings but work to support the inner workings of the tooth and are fully cemented inside as a permanent fixture. Inlays can be used for teeth affected by large cavities too large for a filling and when that cavity hasn’t affected the tooth’s outer workings. It can provide an almost invisible restoration without covering the entire tooth and typically are more durable than regular fillings.


Like inlays, onlays repair both the inside and outside of the tooth, all while maintaining the remaining structures of the natural tooth. These restorations typically work best when the tooth’s biting surface and tooth’s outer enamel layer has experienced some form of damage. Onlays work best for patients with otherwise healthy teeth, despite being affected by the large cavity. Both inlays and onlays work best when the remaining tooth structure has healthy roots and gums surrounding it, and both require the tooth to be cleaned out to avoid infection.


Veneers work in specific circumstances, and while often used as a cosmetic treatment, if your tooth damage only affects the front of the tooth, then a veneer may work for you. Veneers require less removal of the tooth, and depending on the type of veneer offered; barely any enamel will be removed at all. Veneers only work best when the damage is minimal, so you should speak to your dentist about your prospects for veneers.


Implants have the longest-lasting rate of success for people because they heavily rely on the jawbone for support. In cases where the tooth’s damage is too severe for a crown, extracting the tooth and replacing it with an implant is the most expensive but longest lasting restoration option.

For more information about these alternatives and see whether you qualify for any of them in the Milwaukie, OR area, contact Dr. Kevin H Speer at Oak Grove Dental today.

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