Dental crowns are utilized when the damage or decay to the tooth is significant. However, when the damage or decay is not significant enough to require a crown or too large for a filling, an onlay or inlay may be used. This dental treatment requires two visits to most dental offices.
One is used to create the mold while the other is used to apply them. An onlay strengthens the structure of the tooth and can match the natural color of the natural tooth.
What is an Onlay?
An onlay covers one or more cusp or the tooth or the entire chewing surface. An onlay is often referred to as a partial crown due to the extensive coverage of the tooth.
Materials used to create an onlay include gold, composite resin, or porcelain. When compared with a crown, an onlay allows more of the natural tooth to be preserved. Considered to be an indirect filling, an onlay is fabricated outside the dental office at a laboratory in most cases.
Benefits of an Onlay
Onlays provide an excellent alternative to fillings or a crown. They are also great at replacing old metal fillings due to the ability to match the natural tooth color as well as the surrounding teeth.
Onlays offer a more affordable solution than a crown when available. However, when a tooth suffers from severe damage, a more viable choice may be a crown. The durability of an onlay in addition to its superior fit allows for strength and stability.
After placement of the onlay, your tooth will continue to function as it did before the dental procedure. It is important to continue regular brushing and flossing to ensure the tooth is kept clean.
For additional questions about an onlay, contact us today and we will be happy to help.