What is the Difference in a Crown and an Onlay?

Moore Family Dentistry, located in Garner, NC provides patients with exceptional dental care to ensure you maintain optimal levels of oral health for years to come!

Crowns and onlays are two popular services at Moore Family Dentistry. Even though they are both performed to replace missing or broken teeth, there are some noteworthy differences between them. Let’s take a closer look at onlays and crowns.


An onlay is known as a more conservative approach because it only covers a portion of a tooth and removes a bit of tooth structure. It can serve as a great alternative to a large filling and allow you to keep a significant amount of your natural tooth. An onlay is often chosen to resolve damage that stems from fractured teeth, tooth decay, or cavities.


A crown, on the other hand, is an artificial tooth replacement. It may be a good option if your teeth are decayed, cracked, broken, or misshapen. You may opt for a crown to improve your oral health and/or to enhance the aesthetics of your smile.

In most cases, dentists apply crowns after performing a root canal, a procedure which removes decayed or infected tooth pulp. This is because the crown can effectively strengthen the damaged tooth. Although crowns can be made of a variety of materials, porcelain crowns are usually ideal because they can mimic the natural look of other teeth. As long as a crown is applied properly, nobody but you will know it’s there. It can leave you with a healthy, attractive smile.

Which Restoration is Right for You: Crown or Onlay?

When you visit Dr. Moore, he’ll examine your teeth and consider a number of factors before recommending a crown or onlay. His suggestion will be based on the following:

  • The type of tooth damage you have
  • The extent of your tooth damage
  • The cause of your tooth damage
  • The sensitivity of your teeth
  • The urgency of your situation
  • Whether you need a root canal as well

Schedule an Appointment at Moore Family Dentistry

If you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment at our Garner, NC office, don’t hesitate to contact us today at 919-772-1811. We look forward to hearing from you!

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