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…
What to Expect When Getting a Dental Onlay
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.
The placement of a dental onlay typically requires two visits unless the dentist has a lab on site.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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