Do you have a tooth with a very large filling? Are you concerned that the remaining tooth structure is weak? In the past, the only alternative for restoring a damaged tooth was a full dental crown. While the crown remains the treatment of choice in many cases, another type of restoration has gained popularity for certain applications. It's a bonded tooth-colored onlay, this partial crown strengthens and protects selected teeth. Placed by Dr. Joel Levy, your dentist in Larchmont and New York City, NY, a bonded tooth-colored onlay is less invasive and gives your tooth a new lease on life.
When a tooth is compromised...
Your dentist in Larchmont and New York City aims to preserve as much of your natural tooth structure as possible. So if you have a tooth injured by accident, decay or gum disease, Dr. Levy and his team do all they can to return it to full health and function.
To restore the appearance and chewing structures of a damaged tooth, your dentist may use a tooth-colored filling, a dental crown, even a veneer to normalize that tooth as much as possible. When a tooth has a large filling, especially if it involves the cusps, or corners of the tooth, Dr. Levy may recommend something called an onlay.
Tooth-colored and made from dental-grade ceramic or porcelain, an onlay basically replaces the top of a decayed or cracked tooth, including the cusps. However, it does not replace the sides of the tooth the way a dental crown does.
Onlays are a conservative way to support and beautify a tooth without all the enamel reduction involved in a crown. Plus, onlays are much more attractive than big, ugly metal fillings.
How onlays work
First, Dr. Levy will examine and X-ray your tooth. Then, if an onlay is appropriate, he will take oral impressions to accurately record the shape of your tooth. He may place a temporary onlay after removing the damaged enamel and filling material. Then, your dentist sends specific instructions, impressions, and imaging to a trusted dental lab in the area for your onlay to be fabricated from beautiful, life-like material.
On your return visit, Dr. Levy will remove the temporary restoration and bond on the new onlay. He uses a special conditioning liquid to prepare the surface of the tooth, and then, using a special adhesive, he bonds the onlay in place. After adjusting for bite and fit, the bonded tooth-colored onlay is complete.
Interestingly, onlays have smaller counterparts called inlays. Created and placed in the same way onlays are, tooth-colored inlays reside within the natural cusps of a tooth, replacing old filling material or fractured enamel.
Would an onlay help you?
Learn more by contacting Joel F. Levy D.D.S. Laser Assisted Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry to arrange a consultation. Through minimally invasive dental techniques, your tooth can be strong and beautiful again. Call us today!