When a large portion of natural tooth structure has been lost or undermined, a tooth will require a crown for support and we will talk about those options in the next blog. The more conservative alternatives are to either place a filling or cover part of the tooth with an onlay. We covered the option of resin fillings vs amalgam fillings in a previous blog so I will not repeat that discussion but to say we only use resin. The materials are constantly improving in both strength and esthetics so filling the tooth is our first option.
If there is a cusp or cusps ( pillars of the tooth) missing or a portion the tooth is undermined (weakened), we will make an impression of the prepared tooth and make a partial covering crown called an onlay. This preserves the remaining natural tooth structure while providing a stonger restoration. This material is almost always tooth colored, but sometimes gold is the best alternative for an area that requires greater strength and is not visable.