Porcelain Onlays

An onlay restoration is a custom made filling made of composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain.  Porcelain onlays are popular because they resemble your natural tooth.  An onlay is sometimes also referred to as a partial crown.  Porcelain onlays are made in our office and  permanently cemented onto the tooth by your dentist.

Onlays can be utilized to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma.  Onlays are an ideal alternative to crowns (caps) because less tooth structure is removed in the preparation of onlays.  Onlays are essentially identical to inlays with the exception that one or more of the chewing cusps have also been affected and need to be included in the restoration.

As with most dental restorations, onlays are not always permanent and may someday require replacement.  They are highly durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.

Reasons for onlay restorations:

  • Broken or fractured teeth.
  • Cosmetic enhancement.
  • Decayed teeth.
  • Fractured fillings.
  • Large fillings.

What does getting an onlay involve?

Our onlay procedure usually requires only one appointment.  We use the cutting edge Cerec© technology to fabricate onlays in the office while you wait.

While the tooth is numb, Dr. Burns will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the onlay.  Once these details are accomplished, she will use the machine to make a 3-D model on a computer and use a milling machine to fabricate your new onlay.

After the milling process is complete,  your new onlay will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate. The onlay is then bonded to your tooth. One of the wonderful aspects of this treatment is that you are able to eat normally as soon as your anesthesia wears off.

You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new onlay.


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