What Happens When an Onlay Breaks?

What Happens When an Onlay Breaks?

Apr 01, 2023

While your teeth are very strong, they can break, chip, wear down, or decay when exposed to great forces or harmful bacteria. Based on the severity of the damage, your dentist can recommend repairing the tooth with a dental onlay.

It prevents additional damage to the tooth and improves its function and appearance. Unfortunately, despite being very strong and durable, dental inlays can loosen, fall out, or get damaged for various reasons. This article highlights why an inlay can break or fail and what you should do if this happens.

Causes of a Damaged Onlay

Dental restorations like dental overlays, fillings, inlays, and crowns contain strong and durable materials like porcelain, gold, and amalgam. Unfortunately, they aren’t immune to damage. For instance, they can get damaged due to the following:

Natural aging :

Most dental restorations, like onlays, last for 7 – 15 years. Chewing, biting, brushing, and grinding can cause them to wear down significantly and even break or fall.

Improper dental care :

Dental restorations are susceptible to damage like your teeth. For instance, chewing hard and non-food items like ice, nails, and pens can cause your onlays to break, chip, or fall out.

Poor dental hygiene :

While your onlay can’t develop cavities, the underlying tooth can. Inadequate brushing and flossing can cause further decay and damage to your tooth, causing your inlay to break or fall off.

Poor installations :

Improper dental work can cause your onlay to fall out or break when you bite on something.

What Will Happen When Your Onlay Gets Damaged?

When your onlay gets damaged, it leaves your tooth susceptible to further damage. Since your tooth is already weakened, it can easily break or chip further when chewing or brushing, eventually leading to tooth loss. Similarly, a broken onlay makes your tooth vulnerable to further infections and decay. Based on the condition of the damage, a fractured onlay can also cause significant pain, swelling, or bleeding.

What to Do if Your Onlay is Damaged

Prompt dental care is essential to protect the tooth and prevent additional complications, regardless of the cause of damage to your onlay. Fortunately, your dentist can repair the damage, ensure your tooth is maximally protected, and alleviate any discomfort. It will also improve your tooth’s function and appearance.

Below are several steps you can take care of your mouth as you wait or prepare for professional dental care:

  • Collect the pieces of the onlay and preserve them in a safe, clean container.
  • Use a cold compress on the cheek to reduce pain and swelling around the tooth.
  • Apply clove oil to the tooth to relieve pain or sensitivity.
  • Take pain medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • Use warm saltwater rinses.
  • Avoid chewing or biting on the tooth
  • Avoid cold, hot, spicy, and acidic foods and drinks to prevent sensitivity.

What to Expect from Your Dentist

When you visit our dentist for treatment, they will begin by cleaning and examining the extent of the damage and the tooth’s remaining structure. Dental X-rays may be necessary to review any internal damage. If the damage has caused discomfort, swelling, or bleeding, the dentist will alleviate the pain and address other symptoms.

If the tooth hasn’t suffered any additional damage, the dentist can re-cement the onlay or prepare the necessary impressions for a new onlay. They will place a temporary restoration to the tooth to protect the tooth until the new onlay is ready. Once the onlay is ready, the dentist cements it into place.

However, if the tooth is extremely damaged, you might need additional treatments like root canals or dental crowns to repair the tooth and shield it from further damage. If the dentist can’t repair the tooth, you may need a tooth extraction. Later, you can replace the tooth with a dental bridge or implant.

Are You Interested in Dental Inlays and Onlays in Chestnut Hill, MA?

Dental onlays are perfect for improving a tooth’s strength, function, appearance, and health with large cavities, chips, or breaks. For dental inlays and onlays treatment and repair near you, contact Hammond Pond Dental Group.

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