Like inlays, onlay restorations are cast products that repair the tooth, typically with gold or porcelain, in the most effective, durable, long-lasting process available in modern dentistry. A filling, by contrast, is a soft malleable material that is packed into the tooth and formed to match surrounding teeth. Your onlay (or inlay) will be produced from a cast to exactly match the structure of your teeth.

Note: Onlays are essentially identical to inlays with the exception that one or more of the chewing cusps have also been affected and need to be included in the restoration.

An onlay restoration is a custom-made filling made of composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain. An onlay is sometimes also referred to as a partial crown. It is made by a professional dental laboratory and is permanently cemented onto the tooth by your dentist.

Onlays can be utilized to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma. Onlays are an ideal alternative to crowns (caps) because less tooth structure is removed in the preparation of onlays. 

Gold onlays and inlays are a very cooperative and durable substance in the reparation of damaged teeth. Front teeth are typically treated with porcelain, on the other hand, as it can be matched precisely to  your other teeth.

As with most dental restorations, onlays are not always permanent and may someday require replacement. They are highly durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile. You will receive care instruction at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, a proper diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new onlay.

Reasons for Onlay Restorations:

  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Cosmetic enhancement
  • Decayed teeth
  • Fractured fillings
  • Large fillings

Onlay Procedure:

An onlay procedure typically requires one or two appointments depending on the dental material you choose to use. Your first appointment will include several highly accurate impressions (molds) that will be used to create your custom onlay.

While the tooth is numb, the dentist will remove any decay and/or old filling materials. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared, shaping the surface to properly fit an onlay restoration. 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 cemented into place. A few adjustments may be necessary to ensure a proper fit and that your bite is comfortable.