“Dental onlay” is a new term that has been around for over three years now. It is a process done on a tooth that is too damaged to be reconstructed using a filling. Some family dentistry clinics have the tools and experienced dentists necessary to place the onlay on a patient's enamel. Here are facts about this procedure and how it helps to promote oral health.

When Is It Used?

This product is placed on a tooth that has suffered extensive damage, in which a normal tooth filling would not be able to repair the damage. It is also important to note that the affected tooth must be able to provide sufficient support, so the dentist will first carry out some tests to verify if the available tooth structure is sufficient.

The Different Types

There are two distinct varieties of this product to suit the needs of patients, sometimes indirect and direct onlays. The indirect procedure involves placement of a temporary tooth filling on the first appointment. The family dentistry clinics will later remove the deceased section of the tooth. The primary role of this filling is to reserve the tooth in preparation for the next process. On the second appointment, the dentist will remove the filling and replace it with the onlay. The onlay is firmly cemented on the tooth using a special dental adhesive.

The direct onlay is done using the same procedure. The only difference is that a resin composite material is used to preserve the tooth. In the past, the material would have been molded using an oven before being cemented on the tooth. Nowadays, dentists use advanced tools such as 3D computer imagery. All these processes can be done in one sitting, so no second appointment is needed.

The benefits of these two new products are that they offer comprehensive protection, and they resemble natural tooth color. Needless to say, tooth discoloration can negatively affect one's confidence and self-esteem. Companies that make dental products have worked to come up with inlays and onlays that have different colors and sizes. This makes it easy for dentists to match them with the natural color of the enamel.

Can Last for Decades

Unlike traditional fillings that rarely last more than a year, onlays can benefit patients for many years if taken care of. Also, they do not cause any sensitivity.

The only downside is that they are more expensive than traditional fillings. It is also important to note that not all family dentistry clinics offer this service, and so it is imperative to do some background research to know the specific services that are provided. Other factors that should be considered when looking for a clinic include reputation, experience, and legal accreditation.