A dental inlay is a type of tooth restoration method that enhances tooth support by fitting pre-molded fillings inside the grooves of teeth without damaging much of the natural tooth. Made up of a solid piece of porcelain material, the inlay does not extend over the cusps of teeth but fits snugly within. It is mostly used in cases where a dental filling may not provide sufficient support for the tooth, but the damage is not extensive enough to require a dental crown. A dental crown covers the whole tooth while an inlay covers about seventy percent of the tooth structure, which is why they are often referred to as “three-quarter crowns”.
It’s quite difficult to determine when dental inlays should be used in place of dental crowns or caps. Thus, it’s important that you fill in the necessary information gaps to get a better idea of what treatment is appropriate for your specific problem. An accomplished cosmetic dentist in California can provide the proper details, and guidelines on which treatments you require, be it a dental crown, dental inlays/onlays, composite fillings, or veneers in Newport Beach.
Differences with Dental Filling
A dental inlay is made in a laboratory and manufactured from porcelain or composite resin material that matches the tooth color. It repairs the chewing surface of teeth and is almost an invisible dental restoration technique that is much more durable than most regular fillings. Though they are both meant to fill tooth gaps formed by tooth decay, and create enough support, there is a difference between dental inlays and dental fillings.
A dental filling is a quick procedure that can be done in a single visit. After removing the tooth decay, the dentist designs a mold and shape it to fit the gap left behind. This helps prevent further decay, but if the portion of the decay was quite large, it does not work well. Dental inlays are designed to fit the void left by larger tooth decay. They also take at least two visits to allow the dentist to make an impression of the tooth and make a mold that fits the gap. During the second visit, the dentist fits and cements the inlay into place.
When to Choose an Inlay
Prevention is key, thus you should take care of your teeth by brushing them often, flossing, and using healthy teeth products such as enamel strengthening toothpaste. In case you sustain damage on your teeth despite good oral hygiene, a dental restoration procedure may be the best option for you.
First, find an experienced dentist to consult on which procedure to go for. If the biting surface is decayed, fractured or broken, but the damage does not extend to the cusp of the teeth, the dentist might recommend an inlay rather than a dental filling. A dental inlay will also be recommended if the damage is extensive to such an extent that a dental filling will weaken the remaining tooth structure.
Benefits of Dental Inlays
Dental Inlays have both pros and cons but the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Some of these benefits include the preservation of a larger part of the natural tooth, while maintaining the natural look of the tooth after filling. Dental inlays are suitable for cavities located in difficult places and are solid and extremely strong. They restore back the ability to chew food without fear of damage and prevent staining which occurs from consuming different foods and beverages.