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Porcelain Onlays in Chicago, Illinois

Sometimes referred to as a partial crown, an onlay is a customized filling made from materials like gold, composite material or tooth-colored porcelain. Because they look like your natural teeth, porcelain onlays are a popular choice. Made by professional dental laboratories, the porcelain onlay is permanently inserted into your tooth with dental cement.

Onlays are a solution for teeth that have been affected by decay or trauma, or teeth with old or damaged fillings. They are more attractive than silver or composite fillings and are more conservative than crowns or caps because the tooth structure is not affected. Onlays and inlays are basically the same except with onlays, one or more of the chewing cusps must also be restored.

Onlays are a great idea for a long-lasting attractive smile. They are very sturdy and will last for years with good oral hygiene. However, like most restorations, they are not permanent and may eventually require replacement.

Why Onlay Restorations?

  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Tooth decay
  • Broken or fractured fillings
  • Large fillings
  • Cosmetic enhancement

What Is the Process for an Onlay Restoration?

An only restoration requires two appointments. During the first appointment, your dentist will take several impressions (molds) that will aid in creating a customized onlay.

Next, your dentist will numb the area and remove any old filling materials or decay. Your dentist will prepare the space by thoroughly cleaning it and shaping the surface to accept the new onlay restoration. While you wait for your onlay to be prepared by the dental laboratory, a temporary filling will be used to protect the tooth.

During your second appointment, your new onlay will be precisely positioned and cemented into place. Your dentist may make a few adjustments to ensure a comfortable bite.

When your treatment is done, you will receive complete aftercare instructions. As with all oral health, good habits at home and regular dental visits will contribute to a long life for your onlay restoration.

Benefits of Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are restorative dental treatments that are used to repair the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Inlays and onlays look quite a bit like ordinary fillings, but there are benefits of inlays and onlays that are not possible with standard restorations like fillings.

So, what is the difference between an inlay and an onlay? An inlay corrects problems over the cusps of a single tooth. Onlays cover several cusps. Other than that, the procedure for making and installing them is the same. Inlays and onlays are made from glass polymer, which is a fusion of ceramic and tooth colored material. They are fused in a lab under high heat to create a substance that is much stronger than either tooth colored filling material or silver amalgam. This makes them perfect for restoring the chewing surfaces of your teeth in a way that is incredibly strong, and yet still aesthetically pleasing. This is exactly what we mean when we talk about the benefits of inlays and onlays.

Creating Inlays and Onlays

When you see your dentist for a filling or a bit of repair work, usually you are in and out in practically no time. Inlays and onlays require a bit more. You will need two visits — the first is to prepare your tooth to receive the inlay or onlay and to take an impression of the tooth, which is sent to a lab and used to create your inlay or onlay. When it comes back, your dentist uses a special adhesive to put it in place.

How They Work

One of the most important benefits of inlays and onlays is the way that they allow your teeth to take pressure. When you bite down or chew, you are exerting incredible pressure on the surfaces of your teeth, and if they are weak or damaged, they can crack or even break. Inlays and onlays are much stronger than your natural teeth, so they can withstand that kind of pressure. And because they are fixed in place, they can protect the rest of the tooth structure from fracturing.

Contact Us

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of inlays and onlays, contact World Class Smiles Chicago. Our office is located at 4801 W Peterson Avenue, and we will be happy to talk with you about inlays and onlays as well as other restorative dentistry procedures. Call us at 773-685-9666, or use the form on our Contact Us page to request an appointment.