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A Dentist Answers Frequently Asked Questions About a Dental Onlay
A dental onlay is used to repair a tooth whose cusp is affected by decay or damage, whereas a dental filling will not be an effective solution. In this article, a dentist answers some frequently asked questions about dental onlays.
What is a dental onlay?
A dental onlay is a dental restoration that is more extensive than dental fillings but not quite as restorative as dental crowns. It is usually fabricated in a dental lab and is created from porcelain or resin, depending on the patient’s needs and aesthetic requirements. The dental onlay covers at least one cusps of the affected tooth. They are bonded to the tooth’s surface and customized to the color of the nearby teeth.
What is the difference between onlays and inlays?
An inlay is designed to fit between the cusps of the back tooth (molar or premolar) and covers only a small part of the tooth’s biting surface. An onlay covers one or more cusps of the tooth.
Why would someone need a dental onlay?
When a tooth suffers damage due to decay or trauma and a simple filling is not enough to repair the tooth, but the damage is not extensive enough to require a dental crown, a dental onlay may be the best option to repair the tooth. Dental onlays are called “indirect fillings” because they are custom made in a laboratory and attached to the tooth in the office.
What is the procedure like?
It is like getting a dental crown since it usually needs more than one dental appointment. However, a dental onlay is a more conservative option compared to a dental crown because it requires removing less of the tooth structure. After the dentist numbs the affected tooth, they will remove the decayed part and shape the tooth for the incoming dental restoration. Afterward, a dental model will be made using putty or digital scans. Then, a temporary filling will be applied to the tooth.
The dental lab will use the model to create the dental onlay, which may take a few days. The dentist will attach the onlay in another appointment. With the latest technology (CAD/CAM), some dentists can complete the procedure in a single dental appointment.
Is any special maintenance required for tooth restoration?
Dental onlays are a strong and durable restoration that does not need special maintenance other than regular care, similar to existing teeth. This includes brushing, flossing and routine dental checkups. Since a dental onlay does not require removing a greater part of the tooth, it is regarded as a conservative treatment option.
How long do dental onlays last?
With proper care and maintenance, dental onlays can last up to two to three decades. Patients need to avoid eating hard foods and bad habits that can damage the tooth and the restoration. Additionally, regular dental appointments with the dentist are important.
A dental onlay is a cost-effective and reliable solution for repairing tooth damages. To get started, reach out today!
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