Tooth stains can be extrinsic or intrinsic. Surface stains or extrinsic stains can be removed with a professional cleaning and polishing and regular daily brushing and flossing. Intrinsic stains are more difficult to overcome, as they settle in the dentin of the tooth just below the enamel. However, that does not mean we cannot remove them. They are just tougher to eliminate. The information below gives you an idea about how and why onlays are designed and how you can keep them from staining.
What Are Onlays?
According to the American College of Prosthodontists, onlays can be made of porcelain or gold, with most of the restorations made to be tooth-colored. The dental restorations are made in one piece and fit inside a tooth while extending to the chewing surface on the back of a tooth. An onlay may be used to replace one or two cusps and is recommended for cavities that are too big for fillings but too small for a crown. When an onlay is made of porcelain (or ceramic), the piece can be bonded, which increases a tooth's strength and helps seal the onlay onto the tooth.
How to Prevent Stains
To prevent surface stains, watch what you eat and drink to keep your onlay from staining. If you drink coffee, drink a cup in the morning, then rinse your mouth with water. It also helps to neutralize the staining components found in coffee by adding milk. Try to avoid highly acidic foods or drinks, such as citrus or red wine, which erode the enamel and produce stains. Dark foods, such as blueberries and chocolate, also produce stains. If you drink colas, use a straw and place the straw toward the back of your mouth. Foods that tend to clean the teeth and prevent staining include strawberries, apples, cottage cheese, milk, celery, and carrots. Brush your teeth and floss twice daily and follow a routine of regular professional cleanings and check-ups.
Your teeth can look pearly white with the right care. Do you think you need a dental onlay? If so, check with our professional Prosthodontic team to learn more about this simple, yet effective, restoration. Contact our team today!