Porcelain Inlays, Onlays and Full Jacket Crowns

Recent years have brought a paradigm shift to many modern dental offices and labs around the globe because more patients and practitioners are opting for metal-free alternatives when it comes time to replace older, failing restorations. Recent studies show that these modern, full-porcelain techniques combine functional durability with the cosmetically appealing appearance of porcelain.

In the past, the only treatment option indicated to satisfy these requirements were porcelain fused to metal crowns which may not always represent the strongest, most conservative or most cosmetically pleasing option available. Often times, a full porcelain option can achieve ideal cosmetics and longevity, while allowing patients to go “metal-free”.

Thanks to newer and stronger porcelain technologies, a clinician can now routinely opt for more cosmetically appealing options without compromising function, longevity or clinical success. This presents several obvious advantages to both practitioner and patient.

Consider a few:

  • Superior Aesthetic
  • Natural-looking Translucency
  • Healthier Tissue Response
  • No Metal
  • More Conservative Preps

We would like to briefly analyze these advantages one at a time.

Superior Aesthetic

PFMs are naturally limited aesthetically because of the metal core. Steps must be taken to hide this core which affects the translucency that we would like to have in order for the crown to have a more “natural” look. In addition, many modern patients – especially younger professionals – are picky about the thin metal line visible on the lingual aspect of PFMs, or readily express their desire to avoid the dreaded “black gum line” that they see on older patients with PFMs.

In any case, full porcelain certainly offers more complete cosmetic control (shade/color/translucency) for the ideal aesthetic outcome from top to bottom, that modern dental patients are looking for.

Natural-looking Translucency – Similar To That of Natural Tooth Structure!

What makes some PFMs look fake?

Most often it is the lack of translucency. Of course, a good clinician (and most patients) should always be concerned with balancing cosmetics with function and durability.

Well, thanks to advances in porcelain materials and technologies, you no longer have to compromise one for the other. Advanced dental labs, like Okon, that use cutting edge materials can fabricate full porcelain inlays, onlays and crowns that are strong enough to resist occlusal forces over the long run, while providing the natural tooth-like translucency that is difficult to achieve with PFMs.

Healthy Tissue Response

Full Gold Crowns (FGCs) have long been the industry standard for inlays, onlays and full coverage restorations because the margin can be engineered feather-thin to adapt well to the gingiva, yet still maintain the strength necessary to bear occlusal forces. Clinically speaking, not much has changed – when done right, FGCs allow for good tissue response. We all know that FGCs are still clinically acceptable.

However, for the aesthetic zone, or for patients who do not wish to have any metal in their mouth, full porcelain crowns or onlays are preferable to PFMs as they can achieve a thinner edge (and a supra-gingival margin) that is more conducive to excellent tissue health.

Additionally, full porcelain restorations offer a distinct advantage in that they can often be directly bonded to tooth structure creating a permanent seal that is impossible to achieve with traditional luting agents used in PFMs and FGCs. This is significant in terms of tissue response because properly sealed margins are less likely to allow for other factors that can contribute to poor gingival health over time – open margins, class V caries, bacterial plaque accumulation, etc…

More Conservative Preps

Conservative dentistry and aesthetic dentistry is no longer the wave of the future but the current standard of care. Patients and clinicians understand that natural tooth structure is a precious commodity and needs to be conserved wherever possible. Full porcelain inlay, onlays and FJCs are designed to do just that – conserve the maximum amount of natural tooth structure while providing a long-lasting, ideal cosmetic result.



With the variety of full porcelain restoration capabilities offered by Okon Dental Lab, you can consistently and confidently achieve a durable aesthetic outcome without compromising clinical success!