What Can I Expect?
During the first appointment, Dr. Gray prepares the tooth under local anesthetic by removing any tooth decay. Once the tooth is prepared, a digital scan is made of the tooth’s structure with a scanner and then emailed to a dental laboratory. Since it will take a few weeks to create the onlay, Dr. Gray will place a temporary filling to preserve the tooth in the meantime. During the second visit, the temporary filling is removed and the dental onlay is cemented onto the tooth.
If you have any questions about Dental Onlays, ask your Dental Hygienist or Dr. Gray when you come in to see us.
What Are Onlays?
When a tooth is too damaged to support a tooth filling but not damaged enough for a dental crown, you end up somewhere in the middle. Crowning a damaged tooth unnecessarily with a dental crown removes more tooth structure than needed. But a large dental filling can weaken the remaining structure of the tooth, causing the tooth to fracture, crack or potentially even needing a root canal.
Dental Onlays fall somewhere in between dental fillings and dental crowns. Onlays restore large cavities without having to use a crown.
Dental Inlays and Onlays are the same kind of restoration, but they cover different proportions of the tooth. A dental inlay fills the space in between the cusps, or rounded edges, at the center of the tooth’s surface. The dental onlay works like an inlay but covers one or more cusps or the entire biting surface of the tooth. Because of their extensive coverage, dental onlays are sometimes referred to as “partial crowns.”
Dental Onlays are more durable and usually last longer than dental fillings. However, like any restoration, they can still weaken the tooth’s structure. The size of the filling and type of material you choose can help determine the life of your restoration. Depending on your budget and aesthetic needs, dental onlays can be made from gold, composite resin (tooth coloured filling), or porcelain.