Porcelain onlays are fillings used to recreate the tooth anatomy and function of teeth with mild to moderate tooth decay, minor fractures or cracks. The purpose of onlays is to repair teeth, strengthen them or replace old or damaged fillings. Porcelain onlays have become a very popular method because they look natural and beautify your smile. Also, for minor tooth restorations, onlays are an ideal alternative to crowns because for an onlay less tooth structure is removed (an onlay is sometimes also referred to as a partial crown). Porcelain onlays are made by a professional dental laboratory and are permanently fixed onto the tooth by the dentist.
Reasons for Onlay Restorations:
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Decayed teeth
- Fractured fillings
- Large fillings
- Cosmetic enhancement
What Does an Onlay Procedure Involve?
An onlay procedure usually requires two appointments. The first appointment includes taking several highly accurate impressions that will be used to create your custom onlay and a temporary filling. The dentist will also remove any decay and/or the old filling. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared, shaping the surface to properly fit a porcelain onlay. A temporary filling will be applied to protect the tooth while your onlay is made by a dental laboratory.
At your second appointment, your new onlay will be carefully and precisely fixed into place. You will also receive detailed care instruction because good oral hygiene, a proper diet, and regular dental visits significantly aid in the life of your new onlay.
- Porcelain onlays preserve more of the natural tooth structure than crowns.
- Since they don't go down to the gumline, there is no chance of gum irritation.
- They are less likely to get new tooth decay because their margin is out in the open where you can easily brush it.
- Being made entirely of porcelain, onlays are very esthetic and they look extremely natural.
- Porcelain onlays are highly durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.
Are There Any Disadvantages of Porcelain Onlays?
As most dental restorations, onlays may someday require replacement. They also require a great deal of expertise to place correctly. Therefore, we recommend that you only have an expert cosmetic dentist do one. Also, the chances of breaking are minimized if you are having your onlay done by an expert.
Onlays versus Crowns: Which Dental Procedure Is Most Beneficial?
Onlays are the perfect alternative to crowns because they just cover the part of the tooth that needs the restoration. It can be the most advantageous cosmetic procedure when a crown is not necessary for the recovery and restoration of the tooth. For instance, slight tooth discoloration could be easily treated with onlays.
If you have a restoration that is too large for a normal filling but still doesn’t necessarily require a crown, here at Dr. Harouni’s dental practice we will recommend an onlay.
A restorative treatment like a crown requires a great amount of natural tooth removal. Needless to say, if your tooth doesn’t need extensive restoration like this, it is a serious drawback.
Onlays are also less costly than crowns. As such, porcelain onlays can provide a sustainable solution for patients who want to avoid an additional expense.
Onlay procedures offer benefits that include:
- Very little invasive dental work required
- Improving the structure of your natural teeth
- Natural appearance and feeling
- Durability and longevity
- Enhancing the color of your teeth
- Easy care
Proper Care and Maintenance of Your Onlay
If maintained and cleaned properly, porcelain onlays can last up to 30 years or longer. In other words, for a long-lasting onlay, you need excellent oral hygiene. Brushing regularly, flossing and routine check-ups will ensure the longevity of your onlay.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with our renowned cosmetic dentist, Dr. George Harouni, call our Las Vegas, NV (Henderson, NV) dental office today at 702-434-9464.