Tooth decay can quickly escalate from being a minor toothache to a legitimate dental emergency if left untreated. Your teeth are comprised of three layers. The hard outer layer is called the enamel and is the hardest material in your body. This is an important consideration, as the enamel needs to protect what is below it, which is the dentin and the pulp.
Once bacteria can erode the enamel, the softer, more vulnerable parts of your teeth can become endangered. For patients who have tooth decay that has advanced to such a degree that a conventional dental filling is no longer a viable treatment option, we here at Century Dental may recommend a dental onlay to help protect and preserve your damaged tooth.
What is a Dental Onlay?
When you have serious tooth decay, then you may be a good candidate for a dental onlays. For patients who have only mild to moderate decay, a traditional dental filling may be sufficient to help treat and address the decay. However, for patients who have more severe tooth decay that affects more than one cusp (the pointy part of your tooth) and the chewing portion of their tooth, a dental onlay may be required to treat it properly.
Dental onlays are often called partial crowns, as they are more than just a dental filling. They are a type of indirect restoration, which means that they are manufactured outside of the mouth in our lab. Once the onlay is finished, we will then apply to the affected surfaces of the tooth.
Why Do I Need a Dental Onlay?
There are several reasons that we may recommend a dental onlay to a patient. One of the more common reasons that we may advise one is if the patient has severe tooth decay that cannot be addressed by a filling. We may also advise a patient to get a dental onlay if their tooth has sustained an injury that has weakened for compromised the tooth.
What are the Benefits of Getting a Dental Onlay?
A dental onlay not only helps treat the decay or injury, it can also help reinforce and strengthen the affected tooth. They look and feel natural, just like your teeth, and can last up to thirty years if you take good care of it.
A dental onlay is recognized as a more conservative treatment option for injury or tooth decay. Unlike a crown or other restorative options, which may require a significant portion of the natural tooth being removed, a dental onlay requires less of your natural tooth to be removed. Unlike metal fillings, which can expand and contract when exposed to heat or cold, porcelain or composite onlay does not change in size. This helps prevent damage from harming your tooth. Your teeth can be stronger and more durable due to the onlay.
Dental onlays can help save a tooth that may otherwise require extraction due to serious tooth decay. If you would like to learn more about dental onlays and how they work, or to set up an appointment with us here at Century Dental, please give us a call today at !