Cosmetic Dentistry and the Differences Between Treatments

When you go to the dentist it might be because something hurts, or something doesn’t look right. When you visit Advanced Dental Care Clinic in Oxenford, on the Gold Coast we take extra time with each patient to not only diagnose the problem, but to also educate you on your options; including what the procedure will involve, how much it will cost and what the outcome will be. When it comes to cosmetic procedures, you might be confused, let us go through cosmetic dentistry and the differences between treatments such as crowns, inlays, onlays, veneers and smile design.


A crown is the most common dental restoration procedure. When your tooth is vulnerable and needs protecting your dentist will suggest a crown.

What does a crown do?

A crown covers the entire tooth, sealing it off from the rest of the mouth; to do so, the tooth must be filed down to accommodate the crown. By sealing your tooth off you minimise the risk of decay and strengthen it. It will usually take a few appointments to fit a crown perfectly to your mouth.

When might a dentist suggest a crown?

Your dentist might suggest a crown if:

  • You have had a root canal procedure and the tooth needs protecting as a result.
  • You grind your teeth and your bite is no longer aligned.
  • A crown can also be used for aesthetics; they can cover chips, cracks and loose teeth.
  • There has been serious damage to a tooth.
  • A large filling needs to be protected.


A dental inlay is a solid insert that will be placed into an area that a cavity has been. Whilst a filling is soft and is inserted into the required area, an inlay is designed to fit into that specific area. Usually the inlay is a hard material such as gold or porcelain, it fits the space and is cemented in place.

Why might your dentist recommend an inlay?

An inlay is a great solution for:

  • An area where the damage is substantial, and a filling simply won’t be enough to hold the tooth’s structure.
  • If you still have a large portion of your natural tooth, an inlay will look more natural.
  • The tooth is too small for a crown.


An onlay is similar to an inlay, however varies only in that it might also be used to protect the cusp of your tooth. This procedure bridges the gap between an inlay and crown.

What is an onlay?

An onlay gives you the opportunity to retain as much of the natural structure of the perimeter tooth walls as possible, whilst replacing the problematic area with a hard onlay. Again, the onlay is usually made with gold or porcelain and cemented in place.


Veneers can be a quick and easy way to achieve a beautiful white smile, if done correctly.

What is a veneer?

Described as a wafer-thin piece of porcelain, it is placed over the tooth to recreate the look of a natural look. A veneer has the added bonus of being stronger than enamel, so it will strengthen your teeth.

Why might a dentist suggest a veneer?

A veneer is the perfect solution to a number of issues, including:

  • Closing gaps in teeth.
  • Covers discoloured, chipped and cracked teeth.
  • It can assist in straightening your smile.

Smile design

What is a smile design?

A smile design is exactly what is sounds like, it is the process of designing a smile.

This is a wholistic approach to creating the perfect smile for you. Regardless of what your teeth look like to start with, your dentist will look at your teeth and create a straighter, whiter and beautifully natural smile.

When might your dentist suggest a smile design?

When your confidence to smile is lacking, a smile design can get you smiling again. A smile design might incorporate all or some of the above procedures, such as: crowns, inlays, onlays, veneers; as well as teeth whitening and other cosmetic treatments.

Not sure what to do, call your friendly dentist today

When you book an appointment at Advanced Dental Care Clinic in Oxenford, on the Gold Coast, we take the time to talk you through Cosmetic Dentistry and the Differences Between Treatments and understanding what is involved. Whether you need a crown, inlay, onlay, veneer or smile design, our dentists will brief you thoroughly. Call 07 5580 3555.