In the cases when the tooth has extensive decay, once the decay is removed there will not be enough healthy tooth structure to support a filling and can result in the tooth fracturing or breaking completely. Because a tooth sometimes needs additional support, a porcelain onlay is a better restoration than a composite filling.
A porcelain onlay is custom fabricated to fit your tooth exactly. Similar to a crown, an onlay covers and protects the tooth’s occlusal (biting) surface. As opposed to covering the entire tooth structure, an onlay fits like a puzzle-piece into the cusps of the remaining healthy tooth structure.
What to expect at the first visit:
To ensure that we minimize any discomfort we will make the treating area thoroughly numb. A handpiece is used to remove any decay and shape the tooth. Once the tooth is prepared, impressions are taken and models of your teeth are made and sent to the lab to create the completed restoration. At the conclusion of this visit, your doctor will place a temporary on your tooth that you will wear until the second visit when we place the permanent onlay.
The second visit:
During the second visit the temporary is removed and the new permanent porcelain onlay is cemented into place.
Benefits of an onlay:
- An onlay does not penetrate the gum tissue, reducing the chance of irritation
- Provides easy access for cleaning and flossing.