An onlay restoration is a custom made restoration made of composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain/ceramic. Porcelain onlays are popular because they resemble your natural tooth. An onlay is sometimes also referred to as a partial crown. Porcelain onlays are made in our office if using the CEREC procedure or by a professional dental laboratory and is permanently cemented or bonded onto the tooth.
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:
What does getting an onlay involve?
An onlay procedure uses only a single visit if utilizing the CEREC process or two appointments if done conventionally. For CEREC, digital images are taken to form a 3D model instead of using traditional impressions and stone models. For the traditional method, your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate impressions (molds) that will be used to create your custom onlay and a temporary restoration.
While the tooth is numb, Dr. Williams or Dr. Sivie will remove any decay and/or old filling materials. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared, shaping the surface to properly fit an onlay restoration. A temporary filling will be applied to protect the tooth if using the traditional method while your onlay is made by a dental laboratory.
At your second appointment, your new onlay will be carefully and precisely bonded or cemented into place. A few adjustments may be necessary to ensure a proper fit and that your bite is comfortable.
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.