What Is an Onlay?

While dental crowns are a common treatment option to restore teeth that have been damaged by decay, oral surgery, or injuries, the extensive prep work of dental crowns is not always needed to repair damage to the teeth . With crowns, much of the natural tooth will be filed away to make room for the crown to fit on top. Onlays offer an alternative to this treatment, since they are thinner structures that do not cover the entire tooth. When you seek dental care, you might ask your dentist if onlays are the right choice for your dental restoration to spare you from the longer treatment process that can come with dental crowns.

Typically, an onlay will be ideal for patients who have teeth that cannot support fillings but may not require the full coverage of a dental crown. Onlays only cover the biting surfaces of the tooth, so they are not appropriate when patients are seeking treatment to mask damage to the natural teeth such as cracks or stains on the front of the teeth. Your dentist can help you determine if onlays should be part of your affordable dental care plan.

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