An onlay is a customized filling created in a lab and placed on a tooth instead of a filling, which is created from a composite material by the dentist during a dental procedure. An onlay is larger and involves more tooth surfaces than an inlay and is glued permanently into place, creating a strong surface that can be cared for just like natural tooth material.
Want to learn more about onlays? Here’s great information that can help you understand onlays and their importance as a dental restoration choice:
What’s the difference between an onlay and inlay?
Size is the main difference between the two. An inlay goes within the tooth cusps – those small things that stick up higher than the rest of the tooth. An onlay covers more area and may include a replacement for one or more cusps and a portion of the side of a tooth. When you visit Brighton Dental in San Diego, Dr. Paige Woods can determine if you need an inlay or onlay to properly restore a tooth – or if a composite filling will do the job.
How is an onlay placed?
The process will take two visits to complete in most cases. During the first visit for the onlay, damage and decay is removed from the tooth and an impression is made. This impression goes to a lab where the onlay is created. You’ll leave the office with a temporary restoration. When the piece is ready, you must return for a second visit for placing it. After the onlay is checked and adjusted by Dr. Woods as necessary, it is permanently bonded into place with a dental resin, a process called dental bonding.
Does the onlay procedure hurt?
No. In most cases, getting an onlay is completely painless. A local anesthetic is usually necessary during the removal of the damaged or decayed part of the tooth, but a numbing swab is used on the skin before any necessary injections, making those painless as well. For patients who are particularly fearful or nervous, sedation dentistry is available. Today’s dentistry is gentler than ever, so there’s no reason to be afraid of going to the dentist anymore.
What are the advantages of an onlay?
While onlays cost most than composite fillings, they’re an excellent restoration choice in many cases. Here are some of the advantages of onlays:
• Reduced sensitivity because they cover exposed dentin
• Natural look so that no one will know it isn’t real tooth material
• Prevent more dental work later by fixing the tooth now
• Allow for saving more natural tooth than crowns
• Don’t expand or contract like old metal fillings
• And more.
Is an onlay hard to care for?
No. Caring for an onlay is just the same as caring for a completely natural tooth. You must brush and floss to maintain good dental health. You must also visit us at Brighton Dental regularly for cleanings and checkups. During a checkup, we can determine if there are any problems with the onlay. Eventually, an onlay may need to be replaced with a new one. If the tooth decays or becomes damaged, a crown may be necessary. We’ll help you make the best choice for your situation.
At Brighton Dental, we’ve developed a reputation as a gentle dental clinic. Make an appointment to see us about a pain-free onlay or whatever dental help you need.
Want to read more about onlays? Visit the Onlay page of the Brighton Dental website. For dental information and dental services, Dr. Paige Woods and our team have you covered.