The Markiewicz Dental Difference with Onlays

Dr Anthony and David Markiewicz are highly skilled in restorative dentistry, including dental onlays. Dental onlays are restorations that allow us to restore a damaged tooth to full function. Onlays are often a conservative alternative to more traditional full coverage crowns. Onlays allow us to replace the diseased or damaged part of the tooth while simultaneously conserving remaining tooth structure that is still healthy. At Markiewicz Dental, we use only the highest quality local dental laboratories to create onlays that are both beautiful and functional. Typically, our onlays are fabricate using all-ceramic materials that lack any metal. We also use advanced technologies, like 3D digital scanning impressions (no more goopy impressions!) And color matching spectrophotometers to create dental restorations that fit well and look good.

What is a dental onlay?

A dental onlay is a restoration (typically made of porcelain, zirconia, or lithium disilicate) used to restore a damaged tooth to proper form and function. Onlays are often a conservative alternative to a more traditional full coverage crowns. It allows your dentist to preserve healthy tooth-structure while simultaneously replacing the part of the tooth that is damaged or diseased. Like crowns, onlays are cemented onto the existing tooth using a bio-compatible cement and can typically only be removed by a dentist.

What are dental onlays made out of?

Dental onlays can be made out of a variety of materials. At Markiewicz Dental, we use only the highest quality local laboratories. Because we care for your health, we also require our laboratories to certify the materials used in the restorations we place. Although onlays can be fabricated using porcelain or gold, most of the onlays fabricated at our office are made of a zirconia or e.max (lithium disilicate) material. These materials are scientifically proven to be safe and strong. You will never find any toxic materials in onlays you place in your mouth.The following a a photo of a dental onlay that was fabricated to restore a posterior tooth at Markiewicz Dental.

The following is a photo of a dental onlay that was fabricated to restore a posterior tooth at Markiewicz Dental

When do you need an onlay instead of just a filling?

Fillings are dental restorations that are fabricated chair-side by your dentist using a resin composite material. Fillings are a great solution for fixing small cracks or cavities in a tooth; however, when fillings are large, they become prone to breaking or failing. Onlays are typically recommended when the decay or fracture in a tooth has become too extensive to restore with a filling. Onlays are proven to be stronger than a filling yet more conservative than a crown.

What does the process look like to get a dental onlay?

At Markiewicz Dental, dental onlays are typically a two-appointment process. At the first appointment, your dentist will remove any decay, fractures, or existing restorations from the tooth. He/she will then prepare the tooth for the onlay, take an impression, and fabricate a custom temporary that is cemented using temporary cement. At your second appointment, the permanent crown is tried-in and cemented using permanent cement.

Post-operative instructions following an onlay procedure

Following an onlay preparation appointment, numbness from the local anesthetic will likely last for a few hours. Try to avoid eating or drinking (particularly hot beverages) until the numbness begins wearing off to avoid any unnecessary trauma to your lips, cheek, or tongue.

You will likely have a provisional (or temporary) onlay in place following your first visit. These provisional restorations are meant to be removed easily in a few weeks, which means there is a possibility it breaks or falls off prior to your next appointment. If your temporary onlay falls off, you can try to fit it back into place, but always your dentist for guidance. To help keep your temporary in-place, avoid flossing in that area. Also, avoid eating anything sticky or crunchy on that tooth until the permanent crown is put into place.

Following an onlay preparation appointment, it is common for the tooth to be sensitive or sore for a few days following the procedure. It is okay to take over-the-counter Tylenol or Advil to relieve symptoms. If you believe your symptoms are out-of-the-ordinary, do not hesitate to call your dentist.