When a tooth is not damaged enough for a dental crown but it does not support a filling, there is a restoration that can solve this issue, named Dental Onlay, that’s the reason why it is usually known as partial crown.
While inlays fit into the tooth, onlays sit on the tooth and build up the shape of the tooth. However, both are considered indirect fillings. Like dental inlays,dental onlays are created in a dental laboratory before it is fitted and then bonded to the damage tooth, and dental fillings are molded during the dental visit.
A Dental Onlay offers a strong and long lasting repair for tooth decay or other structural damage without having to use a crown. The life of this restoration depends on the size of the filling and the type of material chosen.
They can be made from porcelain, gold or composite resin, according to the patient’s budget and aesthetic needs. The only disadvantage is that dental onlays can weaken the tooth’s estructure.
The procedure is similar to that used for most restorations, including dental inlays. At least two visits are need to place dental onlays, what involves preparing the tooth, taking the bite impression, placing a temporary onlay, and fitting and bonding the final restoration.
Dental onlays are considered a less expensive alternative to full coverage crown. Furthermore, this procedure is minimally invasive, and allows to preserve as much of the healthy tooth as possible.