What is an onlay crown?
An onlay crown is an ideal way to restore a decayed or broken down tooth. The special shape of an onlay crown protects the tooth from further damage whilst leaving healthy un-weakened parts of the tooth intact.
Q. Why would I need an onlay crown?
There are a number of reasons for instance:
- The tooth may have been weakened by having a very large filling or extensive decay extending under one of the cusps (points).
- You may have a root filling that will need a crown to protect it.
You may have a large mercury amalgam filling which you would like removed in order to improve the appearance of the tooth.
What are onlay crowns made of?
They were originally made of gold but are nowadays mostly made of tooth coloured materials. Zirconium/Porcelain or pressed porcelain are the strongest and most natural materials. Composite resin based materials like Belle-Glass are a less expensive alternative but do not retain their appearance for so long.
How is the tooth prepared for an onlay crown?
All decayed or weakened parts of the tooth are removed; the dentist will then take an impression of the prepared tooth. This impression, along with a record of the shade of your tooth will be sent to the dental laboratory where your onlay crown will be made. A temporary filling will be placed in your tooth to protect it for the two weeks which it takes for the technician to make your permanent onlay crown.
Will the onlay crown be noticeable?
A pressed porcelain or zirconium/porcelain crown would be virtually unnoticeable.
How is the onlay crown fixed to the teeth?
Once the fit and appearance has been checked and approved by you and the bite checked and perfected by the dentist, the onlay crown will be cemented in place with a special dental cement.