Can Dental Onlays Treat Tooth Decay?

  • Dental Restorations St George, UT A dental onlay may be a new concept to you when it comes to dental treatments. You are probably used to a certain kind of dental care for cavities. But onlays are a becoming a common way for dentists to repair decay and restore the function and appearance of teeth. It is helpful to learn more about this procedure and how it can help your smile and oral health needs. If you have an upcoming treatment, take comfort to know that this process can be effective.

Tooth Decay and How it Forms

  • Tooth decay is damage to the surface of a tooth. Decay turns into small holes in the teeth that can increase in size when untreated. People who have cavities may suffer from toothaches and sensitivity to hot or cold food and beverages. Decay can develop into serious infections, which can spread throughout the mouth and into other parts of the body. Cavities develop due to various factors. Bacteria can form on the teeth, which eats away at and deteriorates the enamel layer. Eating sugary foods and drinking beverages with a high sugar content can also cause cavities. Brushing at least twice a day with a fluoride-based toothpaste can help prevent decay. Daily flossing is also an effective protection.

An Overview of a Dental Onlay

  • Onlays are made of either porcelain, ceramic, or a composite resin. These materials are the same color as the tooth, so the device will not stand out in the mouth. An onlay is pre-fabricated outside of the mouth. It is made to be the right size and shape to fill in the cavity or damage in the tooth. Onlays do not require that the dentist reshapes the tooth or does much drilling. This preserves more of the natural tooth and makes for a less invasive process.

How It Treats a Cavity

  • A dental onlay will fit in the cavity, sealing the tooth to prevent further decay. Before placing it, the dentist will numb the patient and remove the decay and clean out the tooth. It may take a couple of weeks to make the onlay. Once it is ready, the patient comes back to the office so that the dentist can place the onlay. The onlay fits over the cusps of the tooth, restoring its form.

Caring For and Preserving the Onlay

  • A dental onlay is a good long-term treatment for tooth decay. It should last for 10 years or more, depending on how well the patient cares for it. Avoiding hard and sticky foods will increase the onlay’s longevity. Brushing and flossing will also prevent cavities from forming on other areas of the tooth or in adjacent teeth. The dentist will also follow up with the patient to make sure the onlay is fitting correctly and working well.

Get Effective, Lasting Treatment for Your Cavity

  • Tooth decay is a common problem that patients of all ages face. If you have a cavity, your dentist may recommend getting a dental onlay. This procedure is less invasive than other processes. It can also relieve pain and revive your smile. Are you considering getting a dental onlay in the St George area? Get more information at Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Restorations in St George, UT.

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