Onlays, which are placed on the cusps, or the biting surface of the teeth, to make the tooth more durable, can also strengthen teeth when a filling won't do the job and a crown really isn't necessary at this point. Oftentimes, patients will opt for dental onlay treatment for cosmetic reasons, bite issues, misalignment, upgraded crowns, and more.
A dental inlay or onlay usually takes 2 visits to the dentist’s office. During the first visit, the dentist will prepare the damaged tooth or teeth and make an impression for a molds that will be sent to a dental laboratory. Once the custom inlay or onlay is made at the lab and returned to the dentist, the patient will come in to have their inlay or onlay placed, fitted, and bonded.
Once the inlay or onlay is bonded to the tooth, patients should not need to alter their home oral care routine. Inlays and onlays should be brushed with the natural teeth at least twice a day and flossed at least once a day. The inlay or onlay may wear down over time and need to be replaced. Patients should continue to see their dentist at least twice a year for professional cleanings and an annual exam where the dentist can check the integrity of their inlay or onlay.