An onlay restoration refers to a specially made filling comprising of gold, composite material or tooth-colored porcelain. Porcelain onlays are hugely popular because of their resemblance to the natural tooth. Sometimes an onlay is also known as a partial crown. Porcelain onlays are only handled by a professional laboratory, and your dentist will permanently cement it into the tooth.
Onlays can serve as a conservative solution to repair teeth that have been damaged due to trauma or have lots of defective fillings. Onlays represent a great alternative to crowns because it involves the removal of less tooth structure. Onlays bear similarities with inlays with the exception that some of the chewing cusps are affected and need to be part of the restoration.
Just like in many dental restorations, onlays are not permanent and may need to be replaced someday. They have high durability and can last for many years, resulting in a beautiful, healthy and bold smile.
Reasons for onlay restorations:
- Fractures or broken teeth
- Decayed teeth
- Cosmetic enhancement
- Large fillings
- Fractured fillings
What does getting an onlay involve?
An onlay procedure is usually done in two appointments. During your first appointment, you will have to take lots of highly accurate impressions. These impressions (mold) will be used to create your custom onlay as well as a temporary restoration.
The dentist will get rid of old filling material and decay while the tooth is numb. Then the space will be properly cleaned, preparing the surface for an onlay restoration. While a dental laboratory prepares your inlay, the tooth is protected with a temporary filling.
Your new onlay will be cemented properly into place at your second appointment. There may be the need for some adjustments to ensure a comfortable bite and the best fit.
When you complete your treatment, you will be given care instructions. Good oral hygiene routine, a healthy diet, and visiting the dentist regularly will go a long way in enhancing the life of your new onlay.