When a tooth becomes worn down or damaged, it can be both painful and unsightly. Golsen Family Dentistry, in Alpharetta, GA, offers porcelain onlays as a solution to repairing and protecting damaged teeth. Unlike a traditional porcelain crown, a porcelain onlay lays over the damaged portion of the tooth as opposed to the whole tooth. This is important in preserving the life of the tooth and giving the treated tooth a more natural look. In cases where the entire tooth needs to be covered, a porcelain crown can be placed.

    What are the benefits of porcelain onlays?

    Any time we treat damaged or decaying teeth, our priority is to preserve as much of the tooth structure as possible. The more of the tooth we have to remove, the more damage that is caused to the tooth as a whole. By preserving the structure, we are able to extend the life of the tooth longer than we can with porcelain crowns. If cared for properly, onlays can last longer than 15 years.

    Porcelain onlays are custom fit to insert directly into or on the damaged portion of your tooth. After it is bonded, it increases the strength of the treated tooth significantly. This restores full function of the tooth allowing you to eat and speak as you naturally would. Unlike metal fillings, porcelain onlays can be designed to match the exact shade of your teeth so that they easily blend in and look completely natural.

    When is a porcelain crown necessary?

    A crown is essentially a cap that completely covers a damaged tooth for both aesthetic and health purposes. Crowns can extend the life of a damaged tooth by protecting it from further damage and completely restore the tooth’s appearance. Occasionally, crowns are used in conjunction with bridges to fill a gap where a tooth has been lost. Though many cases can be treated with porcelain onlays, there are certain circumstances that will require an entire porcelain crown to be placed.

    If the tooth has become discolored due to injury or significant staining, a crown can be made to match the rest of your teeth. Teeth that have suffered severe damage and have very little remaining structure may need a crown in place of onlays. This will protect the tooth from fracturing and causing more extensive damage. Teeth that are particularly weak as a whole may benefit from a crown to prevent further weakening and potential breakage.

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