This procedure is a terrific alternative to silver amalgam fillings. When a restoration is of small or moderate size, it can be effectively restored directly with a composite resin (bonding). However, larger restorations are best performed using a stronger, more durable ceramic material that is fabricated in a laboratory such as a dental crown.
Ceramic onlays have many advantages. They are extremely strong, with a superior fit, shape and bite than composite restorations. These restorations are very durable, and have superior aesthetics. Onlays require less tooth removal and the material itself is more shock absorbing and kinder to the opposing teeth in the bite. Onlays make an excellent alternative to the more traditional procedure of dental crowns. Many situations that would have required a crown can now be restored utilizing the more conservative onlay procedure.