What to Expect When Getting a Dental Onlay

Dental Crowns and Dental Bridges Lilburn, GA

Having a bright, natural smile can restore one’s confidence, and a dental onlay can help get this result. An onlay, also known as a partial crown, is used in restorative dentistry for multiple reasons. It can help protect the teeth as well as rejuvenate the smile.

Benefits of getting a dental onlay

An onlay can be an alternative for a traditional metal filling when a cavity is big enough to cause damage to the cusps of the tooth. It can also be used when something else caused damage to the teeth.

In addition to replacing damaged or decayed areas of the teeth, a dental onlay can help increase the whiteness and brightness of a smile. Onlays are usually made up of resin or porcelain, which both look natural and can be matched to the shades of the other teeth.

Another benefit of onlays is that they extend the life of a tooth, being durable and resistant to degradation and damage. This type of restorative dentistry lasts longer than crowns or fillings. An onlay also improves dental hygiene because it prevents bacteria and other infections from getting into the tooth.

Onlay procedure

The placement of a dental onlay typically requires two visits unless the dentist has a lab on site.

Removal process

During the initial visit, the dentist removes the cavity or damaged part of the tooth. The dentist only takes out the decayed portion and keeps as much of the natural tooth as possible.

Mold creation

The next step is to take a mold impression of the affected tooth. Dental putty is laid over the tooth and, when it is ready, it is sent to the lab, which constructs the onlay.

Temporary replacement

To protect the exposed tooth until the onlay is prepared, the dentist places a filling. This temporarily keeps out food and bacteria as well as prevents sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.  

Onlay preparation

Once the lab has finished fabricating the permanent onlay, the patient comes in for the second and final appointment. The dentist removes the temporary filling, cleans the tooth, and prepares it for the placement of the onlay. The dentist places the onlay and makes sure it fits properly.

Bonding process

Once the onlay fits perfectly, the dentist uses dental cement to bond it to the tooth. It then is polished so it is smooth and looks like the teeth surrounding it.


For the first day or two, the patient may experience sensitivity around the affected tooth. During this time, cold and hot beverages should be avoided, as should sticky foods. If the bite seems off, the dentist should be contacted to make any adjustments.

Once the sensitivity and soreness go away, good dental hygiene is important. This includes brushing at least twice a day, flossing, and getting regular dental exams.


People who are looking for restorative dentistry that also results in bright and natural-looking teeth may want to consider a dental onlay. The dentist can discuss its advantages and recommend if it is a good choice for your needs.

Request an appointment here: https://www.lilburnfamilydentistry.com or call Lilburn Family Dentistry at (770) 800-0178 for an appointment in our Lilburn office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Crowns and Dental Bridges in Lilburn, GA.

Recent Posts

Can A Dental Crown Save Your Tooth?

A dental crown is often the best option to repair the affected area when a patient is dealing with severe tooth damage or decay. Dental crowns can also protect weak or brittle teeth, improve the patient's appearance, and correct many other dental issues. For many people, this type of treatment helps to both restore and…

Can A Dental Crown Conserve Tooth Structure?

The general purpose of dental crown treatment is to restore the size, shape, function, appearance, and health of a damaged tooth. During the process, the dentist can ensure the crown restores or protects the natural structure of the tooth. This allows the tooth to keep its ideal natural appearance and helps with function as well. The…

Dental Crowns - How To Identify When Something Is Wrong

Dental crowns are a popular option for restoring and protecting teeth. A crown is a cover placed over a tooth that is badly decayed or damaged. It is usually referred to as a cap. A crown can help restore the shape and appearance of your tooth.Crowns are often recommended by dentists to solve a variety…

Why A Crown Is Better Than An Implant

As the dental world has evolved greatly over time, there are now many different ways to treat cavities, decay, and erosion of the teeth. Although, the best treatment option may depend on the severity of the problem, the patient, and the dentist too, finding the best treatment option can be overwhelming.Two of the most common…

Recent Posts

Restorative Options For A Front Broken Tooth

Restorative Options For A Front Broken Tooth

A broken tooth is a common dental issue that fills most people with dread, especially when the crack is near the front of the mouth. Front teeth fractures are quite common among children, teenagers, and young adults. Fortunately, a dentist can recommend various repair or replacement options for damaged front teeth to help patients resume…

How Bone Grafts Are Important For Dental Implants

How Bone Grafts Are Important For Dental Implants

For many people, dental implants can be a permanent solution for dealing with lost or damaged teeth. This type of treatment is designed to last a lifetime. Once it is complete and healed, patients can enjoy a more beautiful smile without having to worry about any dietary changes, difficult home care, or unnatural-looking teeth.Dental implants…