Dental Onlay Materials

Dental Onlay Materials

Dental Onlay Materials

Are you wondering whether a dental onlay is the right choice for you? This restorative treatment can be effective in correcting a variety of oral health issues. It also has cosmetic benefits and can improve your smile. You should consider all the advantages that onlays offer and compare this option to others, such as crowns or fillings. Like these other treatments, onlays are available in different types of materials. As you learn about these, you can decide which one makes more sense for your needs and goals.

What a dental onlay is and what it does

An onlay is a restorative device that is pre-molded outside of the tooth. It is a piece that the general dentist will bond to the tooth using cement. The onlay fits in the grooves of the affected tooth and extends over the cusps. It is a useful treatment for people who have suffered tooth damage, such as a crack, chip, or fracture.

A dentist may also recommend an onlay when the patient has a large cavity that a filling cannot support. A technician reads a dentist’s X-rays and impressions to create an onlay the exact size and shape of the cavity. Onlays last longer than crowns or fillings. With proper care, it can last for more than 20 years. Onlays restore smiles and improve the strength of the tooth.

Gold and silver

In years and decades past, dentists mostly used metal for filling and crowns. This material is still available today. A dental onlay can still consist of metal, though patients often dislike the aesthetic quality of the material. The color stands out in the mouth and can hamper the person’s smile. On the positive side, gold and silver onlays are the strongest and most durable option. It is unlike to break or falter under intense forces and pressures.


Ceramic onlays are perhaps the most popular choice today. This material blends in with the tooth and the surrounding teeth. This makes it virtually impossible to tell that the person has this device in their mouth. The dentist can create the dental onlay to be any desired color shade. It will not last as long as a metal crown, however.

Composite resin

Like a ceramic dental onlay, a composite resin one will be aesthetically pleasing. It may also be a good alternative to teeth whitening as it can cover stains on the teeth. This is the same material that the dentist will use for fillings. Composite also bonds well to the tooth.


This is a stronger material than composite or ceramic. It has good cosmetic qualities as well. The patient will make a bigger financial commitment with porcelain than with ceramic and composite. This material can serve many purposes and is effective for repairing a wide range of problems.

A different way to change your smile

If your tooth decay is too severe for a filling, but you do not want a crown, you have other options. Talk to your dentist about getting a dental onlay. This treatment is long-lasting. It can enhance your appearance and oral health.

Request an appointment here: or call Advanced Dentistry Of Walnut Creek at (925) 937-2273 for an appointment in our Walnut Creek office.

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