Crowns, Inlays, and Onlays from Dentistry of Bethesda

In most cases, if you see Dr. Hornstein every six months for a checkup, any tooth decay that develops will be minimal enough that a small filling will do the job of restoring the tooth. However, some patients have health conditions or take medications that cause rapid decay. Other patients may avoid a dental visit until they experience a toothache. In these cases, the cavity may be more extensive and require a different type of restoration, such as an inlay, onlay, or crown.

Dental Restoration Materials

Inlays, onlays, and crowns are hard restorations that are made in a dental laboratory and then bonded to the tooth. Dr. Hornstein works with the best dental ceramists in the area to ensure that your restorations are of the highest quality to achieve optimal fit, function, and aesthetics. Crowns, inlays, and onlays can be made of metal or tooth-colored ceramic. For ideal biocompatibility, your general dentist in Bethesda does not use lower-grade metals such as nickel, instead opting for gold, the strongest and purest of metals. If you’d prefer a less conspicuous restoration, he can provide an all-ceramic crown, inlay, or onlay that looks so natural, it will be indistinguishable from your surrounding teeth.


Crowns are also known as “caps” and are used when an entire tooth needs to be covered and strengthened. Often used in cases of extensive decay, large chips and fractures, or to protect a tooth after a root canal treatment, crowns require reduction of the tooth’s structure so that they will stay bonded securely. After shaping and preparing your tooth with a dental laser, Dr. Hornstein will perform a dental impression. The mold created from this impression will be used by the dental laboratory to construct your crown. You will wear a temporary crown while waiting for your permanent one, and you’ll return for a second appointment at our Bethesda dentist office to have your new restoration placed.

Inlays and Onlays

A crown is not the only option for treating decay or damage that is too large for a filling. Moderate to severe decay or tooth breakage can sometimes be treated with inlays or onlays, a happy medium that preserves more natural tooth structure than a crown. Also called indirect fillings, inlays and onlays are made from hard materials such as gold or porcelain in a dental laboratory and then bonded to the tooth to restore its shape, appearance, and function. Inlays are placed in the indented areas of molars, and onlays are placed on the cusps, or projected areas. After removing decay and preparing your tooth for your new restoration, your dentist in Bethesda will make a dental impression so that your inlay or onlay can be created in a lab. When your new restoration is complete, he will bond the durable, hard filling to your tooth to restore your oral function.

Experience the Difference

Dentistry of Bethesda provides compassionate, personalized dental care for all members of your family, including those with special needs. Contact Bethesda dentist Dr. Spencer Hornstein today at (301) 530-2700 to schedule your consultation. We happily treat patients from Silver Spring, North Bethesda, Rockville, Chevy Chase, Potomac, and the surrounding areas.