Onlays are unique restorations that are used to repair teeth where a filling is less than adequate, but there is enough sound enamel that a full coverage crown isn’t needed. Essentially, onlays cover about 3/4 of the tooth’s crown, rebuilding any damaged, fractured, or decayed areas while maximizing healthy tooth structure. Dentists often refer to onlays as “three quarter crowns.”
Traditional lab-fabricated onlays require at least 2 appointments. But, when CEREC technology is used, patients can have their onlays completed in only one visit to the dentist. After the tooth has been prepared, CEREC allows dentists to take a virtual “impression” of the mouth, without needing any messy impression material. This 3D image is electronically transferred into the office’s CEREC machine, which uses a matching resin block to create a customized fitting restoration (such as an onlay or even a crown.) After the fabrication is complete, the onlay is permanently bonded to the prepared tooth, and the patient is free to go!
CEREC makes one day dentisty possible for crowns, onlays, and other dental restorations. CEREC treatments are great for people with busy lifestyles, and those that want to minimize the number of trips to the dentist. Not only are CEREC restorations just as strong as conventional treatments, they fit better. The precise detail that goes into the computerized manufacturing process eliminates mistakes that can happen during lab fabrication or transporting models.
A CEREC onlay will blend right in with your smile, because of the shade match process. Patient and dentist alike will choose a color together to reflect a restoration that matches the patient’s natural smile.
Don’t put your treatment off until the tooth breaks down even further. An onlay is a minimally invasive way to restore your tooth before you need a crown!
Posted on behalf of Patrick O’Brien DMD, Carolina Comfort Dental
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