The term “onlay restoration” refers to a cosmetic dental procedure in which a composite material is used to fill a tooth. This material is generally made of porcelain or gold. The only itself (sometimes referred to as a partial crown) is professionally made in a dental laboratory and fixed to the patient’s existing tooth. The only is generally used to repair conservative amounts of damage to a tooth through decay or trauma. The only is preferable if possible due to the fact that less tooth material must be removed than in a full crown situation. An “inlay” is different than an onlay in that a chewing surface is included in an onlay.

Onlays are quite durable and will generally last many years, adding to the ability to effectively chew food as well as improving a smile.

Onlay restorations are used for:

  • Broken teeth.
  • Cosmetic dental enhancement.
  • Decayed teeth.
  • Broken fillings.
  • Large fillings.

What happens when you get an onlay?

The process of getting an onlay usually takes two appointments. In the first appointment, the dentist will take several impressions of the tooth that will be used to create the actual onlay in the lab. The dentist will numb the tooth and remove any decay and old fillings. The tooth surface is cleaned and prepared in order to receive the onlay to be cemented on. A temporary filling is put in place until the onlay is received back from the lab.

In the second appointment, the temporary filling is removed and the onlay is checked for accurate fit before being cemented into place. The dentist will make minor adjustments to ensure a good fit and bite. The dentist will then provide follow up information and care and maintenance instructions to help your new onlay last many years.

If you are interested in onlays or any cosmetic dental procedure, contact our office today.