Dental Problems

What are Dental Inlays? – Procedure and Materials Used

Dental inlays are used to treat teeth that have decay or damage lying within their indented top surfaces. They can also be used to replace old or damaged metal fillings. Inlay placement is usually carried out over two appointments.

What are Dental Inlays?

An inlay is similar to a filling, but it lies within the cusps (bumps) on the chewing surface of your tooth. It covers one or more cusps. A dental inlay is bigger than a filling and smaller than a crown. It is bonded or cemented into place.

Dental Inlay Procedure

During your first visit to the dentist, an impression of your tooth will be taken and a temporary inlay will be placed over the tooth. The dentist will send the impression off to a dental lab, which will create the inlay to match your tooth’s specifications. When you return to the dentist’s office, the temporary inlay will be removed and the permanent one will be placed carefully over your tooth. There is no downtime after receiving a dental inlay, only a mild level of tenderness in the treated area, so you can return to work or other activities as soon as you leave the dentist.

Dental Inlay Materials and Durability

Dental inlays can be made from durable, tooth-colored porcelain, they offer much more enduring and natural-looking results than metal fillings. In addition, their customized nature allows dentists to securely bond them to the tooth surface, adding structural integrity and preventing bacteria from entering and forming cavities.

Inlays can also be made of gold and composite resin (plastic). They can last for decades. How long they last depends on the material used, teeth involved, forces of chewing and how well the patient maintains them with good oral hygiene and regular visits to a dentist.

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