Crowns, Inlays, and Onlays


Teeth that suffer significant damage as a result of decay or trauma may require structural support to remain functional and healthy. When more conservative treatments will not suffice but your tooth does not require an extraction, dental crowns, inlays, and onlays offer effective middle-ground solutions that will keep your smile intact.

About Dental Crowns

A dental crown is a hollow, artificial tooth, or cap, made to fit over your natural tooth. The crown covers and protects the damaged tooth beneath it to prevent it from suffering further injury. The material used to craft your crown depends on the tooth’s location and how much pressure it typically bears. We may choose zirconia, porcelain, PFM (porcelain-fused-to-metal), or metal, depending on your specific needs and preferences.

FAQs About Dental Crowns

Why do I need a crown?

Crowns provide support in a variety of cases to restore the function, structure, and often the beauty of your tooth, including the following:

  • A broken or cracked tooth
  • A tooth with a large cavity
  • A tooth that has just undergone root canal treatment
  • Cosmetic damage too severe for other treatments, such as porcelain veneers
  • As a dental prosthetic, such as to support a dental bridge or to top a dental implant

How do you choose which material to use?

We consider the needs of each tooth based on the pressure it must withstand in your mouth, as well as the visibility of that tooth. A back, load-bearing tooth that onlookers cannot see makes a better candidate for metal, PFM, or zirconia. While anterior, visible teeth do not typically require as much strength, they do require a natural, genuine appearance, which may be achieved with porcelain crowns.

Why We May Suggest an Inlay or Onlay

Inlays and onlays restore a portion of your tooth, which we may suggest when the full coverage of a crown is unnecessary. Similar to dental crowns, they restore the structure and health of your tooth, fitting like puzzle pieces into damaged areas.

An inlay replaces the tissue that lies within the cusps – or outward projections – of a tooth’s chewing surface. Onlays extend over one or more cusps, and sometimes, along the sides of the tooth, as well.


Dr. Murray and our team at Red Bridge Family dental thank you for choosing us as your dental care provider and look forward to meeting you and your family. With a strong focus on patient comfort, we provide comprehensive dental services to address the needs of every family member, including preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, as well as dental implants. We encourage you to visit us for preventive care, so we may assist you in maintaining a beautiful, healthy smile for years to come. Contact us at your convenience: (816) 943-0600.