Onlays are restorations that can help to improve the look and feel of an otherwise damaged or compromised tooth. The restoration can be used to cover a tooth that has cracked or broken or to replace old fillings. They are typically made of porcelain, which allows them to look both natural and realistic. The benefit of Onlays is that they can last for many years without needing to be replaced.
There are a couple of reasons for why you might need to have an onlay placed. Your tooth might have cracked or broken across the very top of it. Rather than place a full dental crown, a smaller restoration will be perfect for the area. Likewise, we might recommend an onlay if you have a larger, older filling that needs to be completely replaced.
With an examination, we can determine if either of these restorations is best for you. The restoration is made for each individual patient, so it fits and feels completely comfortable. You can think of these restorations as smaller crowns, since they look and last as long as larger options. Onlays sit inside the grooves of a tooth while the onlay sits over the very top.
In most cases, you can expect only one visit with Dr. White for a porcelain onlay procedure. At this visit, Dr. White will prepare the damaged tooth, and our in-office lab technician, will take a digital impression of the tooth/teeth, and fabricate a custom porcelain onlay for you, while you wait. Then Dr. White will bond the porcelain onlay onto your tooth, and you’re all done. However, depending on your specific situation, a different material may need to be used to create your onlay, and it will require a two appointment process. At the first appointment, Dr. White will prepare the damaged tooth, take an impression, and place a temporary onlay. Our dental lab will then fabricate a custom onlay according to the impression and Dr. White’s instructions. At your follow-up visit, the temporary onlay will be removed and the permanent onlay secured.