Restorative dentistry aims at eliminating infection from your tooth and restoring it to regain its original form and functionality in addition to providing better aesthetics. Onlays are one of the widely used dental restorations for a severely damaged, or decayed tooth.

The dentist in Lakeview, Chicago offers comprehensive porcelain onlays to restore extensive tooth decay, thereby establishing its original form, function, and aesthetics. 

What is a porcelain onlay?

A ceramic or tooth-colored restoration for a badly damaged tooth is known as a porcelain onlay. It helps replace most of the decayed chewing or occlusal surfaces including the cusps.  These tooth-colored custom fillings are a more conservative treatment option than crowns since they allow the preservation of most of your remaining healthy tooth structure. 

Porcelain onlays are larger than an inlay but smaller than a dental crown. 

Why do dentists recommend porcelain onlays?

Dentists usually recommend porcelain onlays to restore:

  • Severely decayed teeth
  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Oral aesthetics 
  • Fractured or worn-out fillings
  • Large fillings that involve the cusps

How is porcelain onlay fabricated?

To place a porcelain onlay:

    • Your tooth will be prepared by a minimally invasive approach most often using a local anesthetic. 
  • Your dentist will then take several digital scans and send them to the dental laboratory for digital design and manufacture. 
  • Meanwhile, you will be provided a temporary onlay that is cemented using soft cement. 
  • About 2 to 3 weeks later you will be provided with a permanent porcelain onlay. 
  • Your dentist will make the necessary adjustments to ensure its fit and aesthetics.
  • High points will be checked to ensure your bite is comfortable.
  • The porcelain onlay will be cemented with adhesive cement and polished. 

What is the after-care involved post-onlay placement?

Porcelain onlays are durable and fracture-resistant restorations. 

However, it is essential to follow good oral hygiene practices, proper diet, and regular dental visits to prolong the life of your new onlay. Though they can last for many years, normal wear and tear may require maintenance or replacement over time. 

What are the benefits offered by porcelain onlays?

Porcelain onlays are increasingly popular due to the following benefits:

  • Conserve most of the tooth structure when compared to crowns
  • High-quality porcelain onlays are aesthetically superior
  • The CAD/CAM technology used enables a superior and precise fit that successfully seals out bacteria


Porcelain onlays are a suitable substitute for dental crowns since they preserve most of your natural tooth structure. These are convenient restorations that are cost-effective, and long-lasting. 

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