A tooth overlay, just like inlay, onlay and pinlay, is a prosthetic or indirect filling. They are mainly used to fill large gaps in the teeth which, due to their size, traditional fillings cannot cover. They are chosen instead of crowns mostly because a bigger part of the tooth can be saved this way, maintaining the natural structure of it. Indirect fillings are largely applied in the case of back teeth, that is, premolars and molars, to make damaged teeth stronger, chewing easier, and to avoid further tooth decay. Overlays are generally pricier than direct fillings, but their durability and contribution to the health of the tooth makes them worth their cost.
Unlike general tooth fillings that are modeled and polymerized in the mouth of the patient, indirect fillings are crafted by dental technicians out of composite, porcelain or gold, based on a tooth impression to fit seamlessly. Inlays cover the middle portion of the tooth, while onlays fill a bigger missing part, reaching over to neighboring teeth. Overlays are the biggest among all of these, covering most of the biting surface; therefore, they are sometimes referred to as partial crowns.
Unlike fillings that usually take only one sitting, overlays can be placed over two visits at the dentist. During the first sitting, the dentist makes all necessary preparations on the tooth, and also takes an impression, based on which the dental technician creates the tailor-made overlay. After this personalized overlay is sent from the dental lab, the dentist checks if its color and shape is suitable. Then, it is cemented in the prepared cavity during a second sitting. Between the two appointments, the patient gets a temporary filling to protect the tooth and to prevent further damage to it.
Dental Implants – When to Consider Them?
If a tooth remains sore, or the root begins to decay even after the placement of a tooth overlay, extraction has to be taken into consideration. For filling the gap left behind by the tooth, the best solution is having a dental implant placed. The longevity and aesthetics of these make up for their price, and also assure a natural and comfortable feeling for the patient in everyday life during eating or speaking.
At our implant center at Reprodent, our dentists provide exceptional work with excellent customer care in cozy surroundings. If you are unsure whether you need indirect fillings or implants, do not hesitate to book an appointment to our dental surgery.