What You Should Know About Dental Onlays

Dentists have many tricks and tools to restore your teeth when you have a problem. One of those techniques is creating a dental onlay. Here is what you should know about this restorative dental technique for when you have an issue with tooth decay.

What's a Dental Onlay?

A dental onlay is very similar to a filling or crown; they are often considered a compromise between using either of those two restorative techniques. A dental crown will wrap around the entire tooth's surface and end where it reaches the gums, and a filling only covers a small part of the tooth where the decay was removed. A dental onlay is used when a cusp of the tooth needs to be replaced along the top surface of the tooth. This is often used when a crown is not necessary, but a filling isn't enough to get the job done. Both onlays and crowns are made from similar materials as well.

Why Would You Use a Dental Onlay?

Your dentist will help decide if a dental onlay will be the best choice to restore your tooth. They may choose to use an onlay if they can preserve a large portion of the natural tooth by using one since a crown will require the removal of a large amount of the tooth for the crown to fit over it. This makes a dental onlay a better option for your oral health since you won't have to worry about a crown that goes all the way down to your gum line. 

Why Would You Not Use a Dental Onlay?

A dental onlay is a specialized technique that requires a dentist with experience. The onlay must be created and installed in a way that it is seamless on the top surface of the tooth. If your dentist does not have the experience to do this, they may not recommend a dental onlay. Try to get a referral to another dentist that can perform the procedure.

Some people do not have the money to pay for a dental onlay made of porcelain material and will try to restore the missing cusps of the tooth with dental bonding material. While this is more affordable at the time, it will not provide lasting results like a dental onlay would. A metal onlay can be more affordable, but should only be used on rear molars due to its looks. 

Reach out to a family dentist for more information about dental onlays.