How Long Is the Dental Onlay Procedure?

Dental Restorations Sterling, VA

Are you getting set to get a dental onlay, or are you thinking about doing this procedure? Onlays can be an effective way to repair damaged teeth and restore the appearance and health of a tooth. You are probably curious about how this process works, including the treatment time. Your dentist can help you understand what will take place as well as what the benefits are of this procedure.

What to expect from a dental onlay

Cavities, chips, cracks, and fractures can all affect the well-being of a tooth. These conditions can be painful and affect the aesthetics of a smile. Onlays are restorative devices that the dentist or a technician pre-fabricates. It fits over the cusps of a tooth, unlike inlays, which fill in the parts in between the cusps.

Onlays are durable and tooth-colored. The dentist can make them out of porcelain, ceramic, or composite resin. This ensures that the onlay will not stand out. The dentist can also make the onlay to be the right size and shape as the cavity or injury.


The first step in getting a dental onlay is to have an appointment at the dentist’s office. The dentist will explain how the procedure works and what the effects will be afterward. The dentist will also take X-rays to determine the extent of the damage or issue with the tooth. Then, the dentist will make impressions in order to correctly fabricate the onlay. This first appointment should last about half an hour. The time will be 15 to 30 minutes longer if the dentist has to remove any decay from the tooth first.

Returning for the dental onlay

A week or two later, the onlay should be ready for placement during an appointment that takes about an hour. The patient comes back to the office, where the dentist prepares the person’s tooth. The dentist will numb the patient with a local anesthetic. The dentist then cleans the tooth and places the dental onlay inside to make sure it fits well. If it does, the dentist bonds it in place. Then, the dentist will check the person’s bite and polish the tooth so that the onlay blends in well.

Follow-up work

Caring for a dental onlay is vital for the longevity and effectiveness of this treatment. The patient should avoid eating hard and sticky foods, especially in the few days and weeks following the procedure. The patient must also continue to follow good oral hygiene practices. Many dentists want to see the person back in the office three to six weeks after the procedure to make sure the onlay is comfortable and is a good addition to the person’s smile.

A good way to improve your smile

If you have a cavity or have damaged a tooth somehow, a dental onlay could be the right solution. This treatment can restore the function of your tooth and make your smile whole once more. It only takes two visits to accomplish these. Each appointment should take an hour or less, meaning your new smile is not far away.

Are you considering getting a dental onlay in the Sterling area? Get more information at

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