How Is a Dental Onlay Held in Place?

Dental Restorations Columbia, SC

A dental onlay is a type of dental restoration used to repair a decayed or damaged tooth. Your dentist may decide to fit an onlay if the tooth structure is weak and there is a chance it would crack if filled with a regular filling. It may also be used instead of a dental crown to avoid removing healthy tooth structure. Read on to learn more about the dental onlay procedure and the different types of onlays.

Dental onlay

Onlays can be made from a variety of materials including porcelain, gold, or resin. Each of the different materials has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. A dentist can recommend the option suited for a patient’s situation. The procedure to place an onlay requires two dental visits. When the onlay is fitted, the tooth is usually stronger and looks better.

The onlay procedure

During the first visit, the dentist will prepare the damaged tooth. This includes the removal of the decayed or damaged portion with the aid of a drill or dental laser. The dentist will remove as little tooth structure as possible to restore the tooth. The dentist will start by injecting a local anesthetic to numb the tooth. After the decay and damage have been removed, the dentist will take a mold of the tooth, which will be sent to the dental lab. A temporary restoration will be placed on the tooth to protect it until the onlay comes back from the lab.

Fitting the permanent onlay usually takes place at the second dental visit. When the permanent restoration arrives, the temporary onlay will be removed before the tooth is cleaned. The onlay will be placed to ensure a correct fit before it is bonded to the tooth. If the fit does not interfere with the patient’s bite, using cement or bonding, the onlay will be permanently attached to the tooth.

Onlay materials

Onlays can strengthen teeth and often provide an attractive cosmetic solution. Ceramic and porcelain onlays are usually recommended for front teeth. They can be stained to match the rest of the affected and surrounding teeth, which makes them suited for front teeth. Making the onlay of porcelain or ceramic allows the restoration to be bonded to the patient’s tooth.

This bonding process can improve the tooth’s strength and help seal the onlay to the tooth. If esthetics is not a concern, gold is a viable option. Gold or resin are ideal materials for the molars and pre-molars. These materials are strong and durable and the teeth are not as visible.

A dental onlay can be a good option for your teeth

Typically, an onlay procedure is completed in two dental visits. Onlays are beneficial from both a functional and esthetic point of view. They are a good option for people looking for a stable restorative solution for the treatment of decay. Your dentist can help you determine if an onlay is the best treatment for you. To learn more about a dental onlay, talk to your dentist today. Be sure to ask about the different types of materials and their benefits.

Request an appointment here: or call Davis & Dingle Family Dentistry at (803) 567-1804 for an appointment in our Columbia office.

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