Compared to inlays, dental onlays restore a greater area of the tooth. The restorations can replace the biting surface and the cusps of treated teeth. Like inlays, onlays are created in our laboratory from ceramic material. They are a great option when a tooth is too damaged to be repaired with a traditional filling, but does not require a full crown restoration. Onlays preserve as much remaining tooth structure as possible, in addition to restoring the look and function of your smile.
Dental Onlays Can Repair Your Damaged Molars
There are cases in which a dental filling will not adequately restore a damaged tooth. However, rather than having a crown placed, which requires the removal of decayed and healthy tooth structure, patients can undergo a more conservative treatment option. A dental onlay can restore your oral function and preserve your remaining tooth structure. Dr. Lewis Ricciuti or Dr. James Albanese will place this restoration on the biting surface of the molar, extending over the sides of your tooth. At 4Excellence in Dentistry, we proudly offer natural-looking dental onlays to our Long Island patients. Contact our office today to learn more about onlays and find out how they can enhance your oral health.
An Introduction to Dental Onlays
Dental onlays are custom-fabricated restorations, which are used to protect the chewing surfaces of damaged back teeth. Onlays extend over the cusps and down the sides of your tooth. Onlays are sometimes called “partial crowns.” They perform many of the same functions as dental crowns. They can replace tooth structure that was lost to decay or injury, and strengthen your weakened tooth. At the same time, however, they are much smaller than crowns. Therefore, you will be able to preserve more of your healthy tooth structure.
Onlays can be made from metal or porcelain. For optimal aesthetic results, we recommend porcelain, since this durable material can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. Onlays are similar to dental inlays. However, onlays are larger than inlays and can restore larger areas of the tooth.
Candidates for Dental Onlays
Untreated cavities can compromise the health of your entire tooth. Left unchecked, they can even threaten surrounding teeth and gum tissue. Without proper care, the decay will spread, leading to widespread decay, gum disease, and bad breath. In many cases, Dr. Ricciuti or Dr. Albanese will recommend a dental filling, but if your cavity is too large, a dental onlay may be more suitable.
Once your dentist has determined that you are a good candidate for an onlay, he will clean your tooth and remove all bacteria. Once the area is prepped, he will take impressions and send them to a dental lab. There, ceramists will fabricate a restoration that fits over your tooth, maintains your bite alignment, and looks natural. Dr. Ricciuti or Dr. Albanese will supply a temporary restoration while you wait for your final onlay. When the onlay is received at our office, the dentist will check the fit and attach it with dental cement.
Porcelain dental onlays offer many important benefits. These advantages include:
- Onlays often fit more securely than traditional fillings.
- These restorations are custom-crafted to match the shape and color of your teeth.
- Unlike amalgam fillings, onlays will retain their natural color.
- Onlays preserve more of your tooth structure than dental crowns.
- Dental onlays can restore the form and function of your bite for many years.
Learn More about Our Restorative Treatments
If you are suffering from dental decay, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Schedule an appointment at our practice to find out if an onlay is right for you.