Fillings and crowns are not the only way to handle decaying teeth: dental onlays are an increasingly popular way to repair infection because they are durable, aesthetically pleasing and effective. Onlays are sturdy prosthetic devices that fit over or reconstruct the cusps of the teeth to enable you to chew in a normal manner. They also blend in with the color of your teeth, making them virtually undetectable in your mouth.
Candidates for Onlays
At New York Smiles Inc., our dentists like to suggest them (when appropriate) because onlays allow you to leave more of your natural tooth intact than alternative procedures. They are an especially good choice when a cavity is too large for a traditional filling to handle; the tooth’s structure has not been weakened to the point of needing a crown; or a previous filling has failed.
Onlay Procedure Details
Prior to the start of the procedure, your dentist will use a numbing agent to keep you comfortable. He will then use a tool to scrape the decaying matter on the tooth so that it is clean and ready to receive an onlay.
Typically, our office completes onlay placement over the course of two appointments. The process involves taking an impression of the tooth, then sending that mold to a laboratory to create a customized onlay that will perfectly fit your tooth. Once that onlay is ready, you will return to the dentist to have it permanently attached it to your tooth.
How to Care for an Onlay
Onlays are more durable than fillings (both composite and silver amalgam) and therefore last longer. On average, onlays last approximately 10 to 15 years, though with excellent care they sometimes remain effective for decades.
To maximize the amount of time onlays can survive in your mouth, be sure to continue brushing and flossing any teeth treated with onlays. Practicing good oral hygiene will not only help you to avoid accumulation of plaque that can cause additional infection, it will also help you to prevent the need for more onlays and inlays.
In the days immediately following an onlay procedure, your teeth may be sensitive. Avoid foods and beverages that are too hot or cold since they may worsen this sensitivity. Eating softer foods, especially in these early days, is also suggested so you do not accidentally chip or loosen the onlay after it is freshly cemented.
Make an Appointment
To learn whether our skilled dentists believe your cavity can be treated with an onlay, schedule an appointment for an examination at New York Smiles Inc. at (212) 319-6363.
The Aesthetic and Reconstructive Team at New York Smiles Inc. is here to help. Check out some of our work by visiting our Smile Gallery below.
The Dr. Dean Experience
Dentist of the Dentists
Dr. Dean Vafiadis is the Founder of New York Smiles Inc. and a respected Prosthodontic specialist in New York and around the world. He also serves as an Associate Professor of Prosthodontics at NYU College of Dentistry and routinely lectures around the world on dentistry. His mission is to serve his patients’ dental needs while also helping to advance dental care treatments and therapeutics on an industry level.