An onlay restoration is a custom made filling made of composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain. 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 by a professional dental laboratory and is permanently cemented onto the tooth by your dentist.
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:
Broken or fractured teeth.
What does getting an onlay involve?
The first step in the procedure is to prepare the tooth. The dentist removes all tooth decay and creates a divergent occlusal axial wall, to make the opening of the tooth wider than the base. Next, an impression is made using a covering of titanium dust. This dust allows the camera to take a highly detailed picture of the tooth. Images are formulated with the CEREC® camera. CEREC® optical imaging utilizes an infrared wavelength.
The image is transposed onto the computer screen. It is here that the dentist is able to view the tooth from every angle and design the final restoration. When the design is complete, it is transmitted to the milling unit. The dentist chooses a block of ceramic that matches the color of the teeth. This ensures that the restoration will be almost invisible.
Within 15 minutes, the full crown, onlay, overlay, or veneer is complete. The restoration is made of compressed, rather than laboratory-layered, porcelain. This enhances strength and durability.
Before affixing the restoration to the tooth, the dentist will place it dry to ensure it fits perfectly. It is then polished and affixed to the tooth with dental cement. The procedure is now complete and all without the need for a second visit! The quality of the results is the same as the laboratory-generated restoration, but a great deal of time and money has been saved.
If you have questions or concerns about CEREC®, please ask us during your next visit.
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.