Crowns vs. Onlays
PHD Employs Minimally Invasive Dentistry to protect your teeth ...
Dr. William Schlotz and Associates at Plaza Health Dentistry are one of a very few St. Louis area dental offices that believe in, and practice, Minimally Invasive Dentistry according to the principles of the WORLD CONGRESS OF MINIMALLY INVASIVE DENTISTRY in California.
A very good example of this treatment philosophy is the treatment of posterior fractured teeth. At PHD, we employ a treatment technique called an ONLAY to protect fractured teeth in the back of the mouth. Onlays are a tooth-sparing, conservative approach to treat a weakened or fractured tooth.
In contrast, most dental offices in St. Louis, even today, still use CROWNS as their old reliable treatment approach. Crowns are a more aggressive (read: more tooth is cut down) treatment method for saving a weakened posterior tooth.
What Exactly is an Onlay?
An Onlay is a tooth-sparing, minimally invasive method of protecting a fractured or weakened posterior tooth. It is a state-of-the-art treatment choice employing minimally invasive, conservative dentistry technique and materials...
The Dentist, during a Conservative Onlay preparation, removes only the weak, fracture-prone TOP portion of the tooth – leaving the remaining underlying stronger aspects of the tooth untouched and, thus, more healthy.
"During a Crown procedure ... the DDS will Cut the enamel on all 4 walls of the tooth all the way to the gum line, only to then glue a "cap" on the tooth with cement....All this in the name of protection! "
A Crown Procedure can lead to unnecessary trauma to the tooth leading, possibly, to Root Canal Treatment down the road (in 5-15% of cases). The not-so-virtuous cycle of seemingly never ending dentistry might have just begun! An Onlay, on the other hand, involves more judicious & selective tooth removal combined with a tooth strengthening bonding process.
Think of a Crown as a “Cap” extending down & covering the whole tooth;
Think of an Onlay as a “Beret” covering just the weak, top portion of the tooth;
Think Twice before allowing your tooth to be victimized by overly-aggressive Drilling.
We believe ONLAY treatment to be the best dentistry that we can offer to our patients to repair fractured or weakened teeth. We firmly believe this to Best Dentistry Treatment in 2013 and beyond.
At PHD, we believe in a proper informed consent, including multiple treatment choices. However, sadly, the overwhelming majority of dental offices offer Crowns as the only treatment choice when a tooth is fractured or is very weak. We will offer Onlays as a treatment choice, along with, Crowns -- and we will list the benefits and the risks of each. You then will be informed properly (and thus equipped properly) to select what makes sense for you.
The above is NOT stated in a manner exhibiting superiority over other Dentists or their chosen method of practice in any way what-so-ever. This would not be ethical. There are many fine dentists in the St. Louis area who don't believe, for whatever reason, in the philosophy stated above. These, likely, are highly competent practitioners who have just chosen to practice dentistry in a different manner from which we believe. This is the nature of a free marketplace of healthcare services.
The above is an endeavor, attempt and effort toward Patient Education ... in order to enhance the knowledge base of the general population and of prospective dental patients in particular. We firmly believe in Patient Education at PHD -- and, consequently, in a thorough process of INFORMED CONSENT.