A porcelain onlay is more extensive than an inlay and covers one or more cusps (points) of the tooth in question. When indicated, porcelain onlays are more conservative approach to tooth care, they preserve as much healthy tooth as possible, and they give excellent, long term results.
Onlays can often be used instead of traditional dental fillings or crowns to treat tooth decay or similar structural damage. While dental fillings are molded into place within the mouth during a visit with your dentist, onlays are fabricated in a dental lab; your dentist then fits and bonds it to the damaged tooth.
There are quite a few advantages to onlays:
- Superior fit: onlays preserve as much healthy tooth as possible. They are a good choice if you have minimal to moderate tooth decay that extends into a flossing area; they offer an excellent alternative to full coverage crowns.
- Helping to ensure functional longevity, Porcelain onlay restorations preserve the greatest amount of healthy tooth structure while restoring decayed or damaged areas. They are not likely to discolor over time, as tooth-colored resin fillings sometimes do
- Easy tooth cleaning: Your tooth can be easier to clean than it would be with full coverage restoratives like dental crowns, because the fit is tailored at all edges and the preparation is minimal. With big tooth defects, it is difficult to avoid weakness in the restoration with bulk filling (composite fillings can shrink and amalgam can crumple). Prefabricated porcelain will not, thus ensuring a perfect fit.
- Tight space fulfillments: Onlays are better at sealing teeth to keep out bacteria, and they are easy to clean, will not stain, and offer exceptional longevity.
- Strength and stability: Onlays are extremely stable solutions for the treatment of decay. Their superior fit and durable material make onlays a great choice that can actually strengthen a damaged tooth.
- Weak Tooth Protector: An onlay can protect the weak areas of the tooth. The procedure does not require the complete reshaping of the tooth.