Onlay Restorations

An onlay is a restoration used to fill a tooth that has been too damaged by trauma or decay or has defective fillings that are too large to support a regular filling. An onlay is the same type of restoration as an inlay but covers more of the biting surface of the tooth. They are sometimes referred to as a “partial crown”, but less tooth structure is removed for an onlay than for a crown. Onlays are made in a dental laboratory and then cemented into the tooth by your dentist. They are made of gold, composite material, or tooth-colored porcelain.

Some reasons to get an onlay restoration:

  • Large fillings
  • Fractured fillings
  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Decayed teeth
  • Cosmetic improvement

What is the procedure for getting an onlay?
Usually the dental onlay procedure requires two visits to the dentist. At the first appointment, impressions of your teeth will be taken which will be used to produce your custom onlay as well as a temporary onlay. Then while the tooth is numb your tooth will be prepared by removing any decay and old filling materials. The space will be shaped to fit the onlay. Then the temporary onlay is placed and cemented with temporary cement.

At the second appointment the onlay, which has been created by the dental lab, will be positioned and permanently cemented into your tooth. Adjustments may be required to make sure the onlay fits properly and that your bite is comfortable.

Onlays are very durable and will last for many years. Just like natural teeth they require good oral hygiene habits and regular dental visits.

If you have any questions about restorations, please call or contact our office.