An inlay is a custom-made filling piece created from composite material, tooth-colored porcelain or even gold. It is created in a professional dental lab and permanently glued into a space created in the tooth by the dentist.
Inlays are a conservative option for repairing teeth that have large defects from decay or trauma or large defective fillings. They are a good alternative to composite or silver fillings and are more conservative than crowns since less tooth structure is destroyed in preparation for the inlay.
Like with all dental restorations, inlays could someday need replacement. But they are very durable and can last many years, allowing for a beautiful smile that will last a long time.
Inlay restorations are used for:
What is involved in getting an inlay?
- Fractured or broken teeth.
- Cosmetic improvement.
- Decayed teeth.
- Broken fillings.
- Very large fillings.
An inlay restoration usually requires two dental office visits. The first is to take molds or impressions that are used to create the custom inlay in the dental lab and to create the temporary restoration.
While a tooth is numbed, the dentist removes any decay and old filling material. The space is then cleaned carefully and prepared by shaping the surface so that it can accept an inlay restoration. A temporary filling is installed to protect the tooth until the permanent inlay is provided by the dental lab in several weeks.
At the second visit, the new inlay is carefully glued into place. In most cases, some adjustments are needed to make sure the bite is comfortable and the fit is adequate.
You will get care instructions after the treatment is complete. Good care means good oral hygiene, a good diet and regular dental visits that maintain the life of this restoration and your overall dental health.
To find out if Inlay Restorations are right for you, call (619) 640-5100 for a free consultation with Dr. Paige Woods, DDS