The CDC states that gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is one of the leading oral infections in the United States. In addition, the National Institute of Health cites it as the most common culprit for adults losing teeth. Because the early stages of periodontal disease often do not have noticeable symptoms, many patients…
Is There a Difference Between a Dental Filling and a Dental Onlay?
A dental filling should not be confused with an onlay. Fillings are materials that are applied directly on teeth with cavities, while onlays are restorations that are used to fix teeth with extensive damage. Onlays are typically used when a tooth has been too damaged to be restored with fillings, but the damage is not extensive enough to warrant a crown.
Using a crown to restore a tooth when one is not necessary means that the dentist will have to remove more enamel than needed. Teeth are shaved down before the installation of crowns to create a better fit for the crown. Using a dental filling to treat extensive tooth decay can lead to the tooth becoming damaged by the filling. Most dentists will recommend an onlay or inlay when the damage to a patient's tooth falls in between these two extremes.
How dental filling and onlays are used to restore teeth
Onlays have a counterpart called inlays that are also used when a filling or crown is not the right solution for a decayed tooth. Inlays typically rest inside a hole that has been created by decay, while onlays are placed on the top part of a tooth to rebuild its shape.
One of the main differences between a dental filling and onlays/inlays is the fact that fillings can typically be used to immediately treat a cavity, while getting an onlay/inlay typically takes a few weeks. The filling is directly poured on the tooth, so there is no need for extensive preparations besides the dentist removing decayed teeth material from around the area.
Onlays and inlays are made from an impression of the patient's tooth, and the process can take a couple of weeks. The dentist makes an impression of the patient's tooth by having them bite down on a mold. This leaves an impression on the mold, which is sent to a dental lab where onlays are made. The patient will need to come in for a second appointment when their restoration is ready so it can be bonded to the damaged tooth.
Onlays can be made from a variety of materials, like composite resin, porcelain or metals like gold. Porcelain and composite resin onlays tend to provide the best aesthetics, with onlays being the more affordable option.
Reasons to choose onlays
Here are the benefits of restoring decay-damaged teeth with onlays:
- Onlays can be color-matched with the patient's teeth, allowing repairs made with them to blend in
- Onlays can reduce teeth sensitivity
- It allows the dentist to save more of the patient's natural tooth structure and does not require the removal of as much teeth material as fillings do
- Onlays made from durable materials like gold or porcelain can last over 25 years
- Onlays can serve as a replacement for silver amalgam fillings
- It prevents the need for additional treatments in the future
- Onlays do expand and contract when exposed to extreme temperatures, like fillings
Fix your damaged teeth
Call or visit our St. George clinic to set up an appointment with our dentist if one or more of your teeth have been damaged by tooth decay.
Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.
Dentures are one of the various methods that dentists use to replace teeth. If you have lost many of your teeth or even all of them, talk to your dentist about which treatment makes the most sense.If you choose this one, you can enjoy the long-term restoration of your smile and the ability to chew.…
When you have dentures, you no longer have to hide your smile or avoid being around other people. This treatment can also improve your oral health and allow you to eat a wider range of foods.Of course, wearing this apparatus does not let you eat anything. There are still certain foods you should avoid, so…
A smile makeover is a combination of cosmetic dental treatments that are performed to transform the way that your smile looks. While the procedure's primary purpose is to improve the aesthetics of a patient’s smile, a few of the treatments used, like the placement of crowns, also provide restorative benefits.Many patients are thinking about getting…