An onlay is a partial filling crown that covers the biting surface of the tooth. It may also replace one or more sides of the tooth.
We often recommend an onlay as a treatment option instead of a crown especially if there is not a lot of tooth left.
There are several reasons why an onlay may be an option for a repairing a tooth:
Onlays can be either made of tooth-coloured ceramic material (such as e.max), tooth coloured composite resin (like a white filling) or of metal.
Your dentist will discuss with you which material choices are available and the advantages of each in your particular case.
All of our onlays are custom made for each individual case by a highly skilled dental technician to ensure an excellent fit and appearance.
Usually, we will need an up to date X-ray of your tooth/teeth to check that the roots are healthy and the foundations strong before commencing on the process of preparing your tooth for an onlay.
Your dentist will carefully shape your tooth to allow space for the crown. This is usually done under local anesthetic.
We will take impressions of your teeth, choose a shade for your crown to match your existing teeth and finally provide you with a temporary crown to cover the prepared tooth.
Roughly 2 weeks later, your temporary onlay will be removed and replaced with your new onlay.
Your dentist will ensure a good fit and appearance of the new onlay, then cement or bond it into place using the appropriate material for your only to ensure it lasts well.
We will also give you advice on how best to care for your onlay over the years to come.
Onlays typically last around 10-15 years.
There are a wide variety of factors that influence this, including:
the strength of the underlying tooth
the health of the nerve within the tooth
the position of the tooth within the mouth
how much stress and strain a particular onlay is put under
how well the onlay is looked after.
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