What Is a Dental Onlay and Why Do You Need One?

May 27, 2019 | General Dentistry

If you have problems like tooth pain or suspect a cracked or broken tooth, consider getting a dental onlay. But what is it? Is it like a crown?

Read what a dental onlay is and why you might need one in the article below.

What Is a Dental Onlay?

A dental onlay is a way of restoring a broken tooth. The dentist uses porcelain to replace the cusp or cusps.

The process works even when the tooth contains a previous filling. The dentist takes out the decayed material and makes an impression of the tooth. They then make a temporary onlay and place it over the exposed tooth.

It takes about a week for the permanent onlay to come in. You’ll come back for another visit, and the dentist removes the temporary onlay to replace with the permanent one. They’ll also check for a good fit and bite.

Why You Might Need One

You might need a dental onlay when you have a large cavity or when a tooth gets broken. Sometimes a filling gets worn out and it contributes to the cusp cracking or breaking.

Your dentist likes to save as much of your natural tooth as possible. If they don’t want to take off a healthy tooth along with the decayed or broken parts, an onlay is a good option.

The porcelain does a good job of matching your natural tooth colour, so it’s hard to tell that you have it. This makes some people feel more comfortable with the procedure.

Dental Onlays vs. Crowns

A crown is a more involved procedure than an onlay. It’s like a porcelain cap that the dentist installs over the tooth.

First, they remove the old filling and any decay. Then, they have to remove even more of the tooth (the healthy part) so the crown fits on top. Yet, even crowns wear out, as do fillings. Eventually, you’ll need to have the tooth worked on again, despite the dental procedure.

With porcelain onlays, you have a solution that puts off needing a crown. An onlay will wear out like any other dental solution. Chewing is a forceful motion that weakens any tooth restoration over time.

If you have a dental onlay installed to replace a broken cusp, you’ll get many years of use out of it. When it’s finally done in, then a crown is a good way to restore the tooth the second time.

A Beautiful Smile

This alternative solution to a filling or a crown can keep your tooth pain-free and functional for a long time when you practice good habits.

It’ll also help you restore your tooth without taking too much of the healthy tooth away and leave a crown as another option when the onlay wears out.

Contact Shields Dental today for all your dental needs.

Recent Articles

Similar Articles