Porcelain onlays, also called partial crowns, are a popular solution to defective fillings, decay, or damage because of how closely they resemble your real tooth. Unlike crowns or caps, onlays require very little removal of tooth structure, making them a more conservative option.

Porcelain onlays can be made of tooth-colored porcelain, gold, or composite material. They are custom-fabricated fillings designed by professionals at dental laboratories and then permanently cemented onto the teeth by a dentist.

Onlays and inlays are nearly identical, however, onlays are used when one or more of the chewing cusps are affected and need to be included in the restoration.

Most dental restorations may require repair or replacement over time, and that includes porcelain onlays. Still, these are highly durable restorations that can provide you with a healthy, beautiful smile for many years at a time.

A dentist may recommend porcelain onlays to their patients for many reasons, including:

  • Large or fractured tooth fillings
  • Decayed teeth
  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Cosmetic enhancements

The process of getting a porcelain onlay installed

Installing a porcelain onlay usually requires two visits to the dentist’s office. During the first visit, the dentist will take accurate molds of the affected area. These molds will be used to create an onlay custom-fitted to your mouth as well as a temporary restoration. The molds will then be sent to a professional dental laboratory.

After this, the teeth are numbed with local anesthesia and the dentist cleans, shapes, and prepares them for proper onlay fitting. The dentist will apply a temporary filling to keep your tooth protected until the next appointment.

During the second visit, the new, custom onlays will be precisely fitted and cemented into place. The dentist will make any necessary adjustments to ensure that the onlay has a good fit and feels comfortable. Before you leave, you will be given care instructions and advice for good oral hygiene and proper diet practices.

If you have questions or concerns about porcelain onlays or would like to schedule an onlay consultation, please contact our office. Our Brooklyn Dentist, Dr. Shahin, and our dental hygienists are happy to help in any way they can.