Are you familiar with what a dental onlay can do for your smile? This restorative treatment might not be as common as fillings or crowns. This does not mean an onlay will be any less helpful or effective. For certain conditions, this option could make the most sense when it comes to tooth repair. As you learn more about this process and the benefits of having an onlay, you will feel more comfortable visiting the dentist for the procedure.
An understanding of the dental onlay and its purpose
An onlay is a piece of material that can restore teeth and repair damage from decay or injury. Unlike a filling, which is made in the tooth, an onlay is pre-molded. The dentist will first take X-rays and make impressions of the person’s mouth. A technician uses these images to fabricate the onlay in a lab. There are various materials available to use to make the onlay. Dentists and patients often prefer tooth-colored ceramic, porcelain, and composite, though metal is more durable.
Avoiding more invasive work
When an individual has suffered a chip, crack, or fracture to a tooth, the dentist may recommend a crown to repair it. A crown fits over the entire tooth and protects it. To place a crown, the dentist must shave off part of the tooth and reshape it. To avoid losing a portion of the natural tooth, a dental onlay is a good choice. The dentist can leave the tooth intact for this procedure.
The onlay fits into the grooves of the tooth and extends over the cusps. It serves the same purpose as a crown. A major difference is that it is less invasive. The process will not take as long. It also affects the structure of the tooth much less.
To fix larger cavities
Minor tooth decay might not be a significant concern to a person. However, it can become more severe and become larger. Small and medium-sized cavities usually call for a dental filling. When the cavity is too extensive for a filling to support, the general dentist will suggest that the patient gets a dental onlay.
Another benefit of having an onlay is that it can cover large, deep holes in the tooth. In a lab, the technician can make the piece of material to be any necessary size and shape. The dentist will ensure that it fits properly and comfortably. The dentist will polish it once it is bonded in place.
To repair cosmetic damage
It is not uncommon for people to chip or crack a tooth. This can happen as a tooth deteriorates due to decay. Or, it can also occur if an individual bites into something hard or suffers a blow to the face. A dental onlay, like a filling, can build up the tooth, make it look whole once more. The dentist will make the tooth look natural in shape and form.
Get the treatment you need
You should not have to live with the pain of tooth decay. You should not have to dislike your smile either. Now that you know what a dental onlay can do, consider getting this treatment. Make an appointment at your dentist’s office today.
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