One of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed at Portola Dental Group is porcelain onlay restorations and porcelain inlay restorations. Onlays and inlays are much the same, with the only difference between the two being than an only also needs to have a chewing surface created in addition to the other tooth surfaces involved in an inlay. Onlays are popular in porcelain as they closely resemble your tooth color, but are also available in gold. The benefits of an onlay restoration is that they can be more effective than traditional fillings on larger areas of decay or trauma, and are less aggressive than a crown. The removal of material necessary for their use is less than typical crowns, so they can be used in situations considered conservative. Onlay restorations will generally be an effective way to restore your smile for years, but regular care and maintenance is required in order to extend their lifespan. Sometimes, onlays will need to be replaced for wear.

Onlays are used for:

  • Broken teeth.
  • Cosmetic dental enhancement.
  • Decaying teeth.
  • Broken fillings.
  • Very large fillings.

What happens in an onlay cosmetic procedure?

Onlays will generally be a two visit period to complete the entire cosmetic procedure. During the first visit, the dentist will take accurate molds of the teeth and send them to a dental lab for production. The dentist will numb your tooth and prepare it for the onlay by removing decay, old fillings and some of the enamel. A temporary filling will be required during the production time.

Once the onlay is received back in the office, a second visit allows the dentist to remove the temporary filling and re-prepare the tooth if necessary. The onlay is cemented into place and the bite is adjusted as necessary. Typical care and maintenance is brushing and flossing like you would regular teeth. Onlays will typically last many years, but will sometimes need to be replaced for wear.