An onlay restoration is a custom made filling made of composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain. Porcelain onlays are popular because they resemble your natural tooth. An onlay is sometimes also referred to as a partial crown. Porcelain onlays aremade by a professional dental laboratory and is permanently cemented onto the tooth by your dentist.
Onlays can be utilized to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma. Onlays are an ideal alternative to crowns (caps) because less tooth structure is removed in the preparation of onlays. Onlays are essentially identical to inlays with the exception that one or more of the chewing cusps have also been affected and need to be included in the restoration.
As with most dental restorations, onlays are not always permanent and may someday require replacement. They are highly durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.
Reasons for onlay restorations:
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Cosmetic enhancement
- Decayed teeth
- Fractured fillings
- Large fillings
What does getting an onlay involve?
An onlay procedure would normally require two appointments. Your first appointment would include taking several highly accurate impressions (molds) that would be used to create your custom onlay and a temporary restoration.
While the tooth is numb, the dentist would remove any decay and/or old filling materials. The space would then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared, shaping the surface to properly fit an onlay restoration. A temporary filling would be applied to protect the tooth while your onlay is made by a dental laboratory.
At your second appointment, your new onlay would be carefully and precisely cemented into place. A few adjustments may be necessary to ensure a proper fit and that your bite is comfortable.
However, we now have the latest technology to complete your onlay in one visit! We have just invested in a state-of-the-art CEREC CAD-CAM technology that allows us to digitally scan your teeth and then fabricate your new porcelain onlay in about 15 minutes. No more messy impressions or temporary onlays and you no longer have to wait 2 weeks to get your onlay. We would complete your treatment the same day, saving you a second visit.
You will receive care instruction at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, a proper diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new onlay.