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All You Need to Know About Dental Onlays

September 1, 2018

Filed under: General Dentistry — archway @ 2:03 am

If a tooth is damaged and causing you grief, you may need a dental onlay. This is a good option for not-so-slightly damaged teeth, and it involves a simple procedure. A dental onlay is a tooth filling that is attached to a damaged tooth to restore its structure. It fits into the cavity or crack of a tooth and extends to merge with the chewing surface of the tooth.

When to get a dental onlay

A dental onlay is perfect if a tooth is too damaged for a normal filling, but not so damaged that a crown is needed. Onlays also last longer than fillings or crowns and make the restored teeth stronger.

Getting a dental onlay: The step-by-step guide

Restoring a damaged tooth with an onlay takes two visits to the dentist. Each visit should take about an hour, though the first visit may take longer depending on the damage to the tooth.

The first dentist appointment

Most of the work done on the damaged tooth happens during the first session with the dentist. The dentist does a number of things during this visit:

1. The dentist assesses the extent of damage to the tooth to confirm that a dental overlay is the best way to restore the tooth

2. With the dentist’s help, the patient chooses the material to be used to make the overlay. Gold is a cheaper and more durable material than porcelain. Porcelain is usually preferred because it looks more natural than gold.

3. The tooth is numbed with local anesthetic and the decay is removed from the tooth.

4. The tooth’s surface is then prepared to accommodate the onlay.

5. A mold of the tooth is made. The impression is needed to make a dental onlay that will fit perfectly on the prepared surface of the tooth.

6. A temporary cast or cover is placed on the tooth for protection until the permanent restoration is done.

That is the end of the first visit. The dentist then sends the dimensions of the tooth to a laboratory where the onlay is made.

The second dentist appointment

1. A local anesthetic is applied to the tooth, and the temporary tooth cover is removed.

2. The surface of the tooth is cleaned in preparation for the application of the permanent onlay.

3. The dentist then fits the overlay to see if it sits just right. If it does not, the dentist makes adjustments.

4. The inlay is then attached to the tooth using bonding or special dental cement. The onlay is now permanently fixed onto the tooth.

5. The restored tooth is then polished.

After the procedure

The chances of the patient experiencing pain after the procedure are low, and if it does occur, the pain should be minimal. In case of any pain, over-the-counter pain medication can be used

Onlays make teeth stronger. Still, you should avoid ruining the work done, and do not chew on things like ice chips and bottle caps. Schedule an appointment with one of our dentists to learn more about dental onlays.

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