When a tooth becomes decayed or fractured in an incorporate area of a tooth that make composite restorations inadequate, an onlay will be needed. An onlay is much like an inlay in the way that is an indirect restoration that incorporates cusp(s) by covering the absent cusps. All the benefits of an inlay are also in an onlay. An onlay allows for conservation of the tooth structure. The other option would be to eliminate cusps and perimeter walls with a crown. Also like inlays, onlays are often made of gold or porcelain and are made at a lab after an impression or moldings. Gold onlays have great longevity; there are newer types of porcelain that may rival the longevity of gold. These are often indicated for the very back teeth in the mouth. Gold restorations are preferred in patients with Bruxism, limited mouth opening and shorter teeth. If the inlay or onlay is made in a dental lab, there is a temporary onlay that is placed on the tooth that is decayed or fractured.
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