Dental inlays are very common dental restorations, but you may not have heard the term before. Simply put, an inlay is a restoration that’s made in a lab and then placed into the tooth – instead of a filling that’s formed by the dentist from a soft material and then hardened once it’s on or in your tooth.
Inlays are similar to onlays, but inlays are bonded inside a hole in a tooth while onlays are bonded to the outside of a tooth. Over the long term, inlays usually perform better than fillings.
Pros And Cons Of Inlays
Got it? Now, let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages of inlays. The advantages are these:
Greater protection. When compared with dentist-formed fillings, inlays provide better protection because they’re made of harder materials and are precisely fitted to the area of decay or damage that has been removed from the tooth.
Improved color match. A wide array of color choices is available for inlays, making it easy for the team here at Brighton Dental in San Diego to precisely match the specific color of your tooth. Everyone’s teeth are a different shade of white, and a best-match inlay can be made for you.
Longevity. When cared for properly and checked regularly as part of a program of dental and oral health checks, inlays can last much longer than traditional fillings without wearing away or cracking. Fewer replacements over your lifetime mean less loss of natural tooth during the replacement process.
Better performance. In addition to all these things, inlays perform better for you. They’re more like natural tooth material and can cause less sensitivity than a filling, particularly when the restoration goes close to the tooth nerve.
Of course, everything has a downside. In the case of dental inlays, here are the few disadvantagess that you must keep in mind:
Higher cost. Even though inlays last longer than dentist-formed fillings, they cost more. That’s because the piece that is inserted into your tooth must be formed in a dental lab of special materials – and this process and these materials cost more than composite filling materials.
A second visit. Because inlays are made for you in a dental lab, the process can’t be completed in a single visit as a filling can. That means you’ll have to come back for a second visit – meaning more time in the dentist’s chair overall and perhaps more time off work or away from your usual obligations.
The Process Is Simple
If you think you might be a good candidate for a dental inlay to improve a broken tooth, cosmetically ugly tooth, decayed tooth or broken filling, among other things, please contact us and let Dr. Woods assess the situation for you. An inlay can be completed over 2 dental visits – one for impressions and a temporary restoration and one to place the lab-made inlay.
Much of the process is like getting a filling. But at the second appointment, the inlay will be glued in place with a special adhesive. Caring for the inlay is pretty much the same as caring for an entirely natural tooth, and you won’t even notice it there once it’s been in place for a few days.
Learn more on the Brighton Dental website page about Inlays.
And contact us if you have a dental issue that requires a restoration. We’ll assess your situation and tell you if an inlay is right for you. Then you can make a decision about when and how to complete any dental restoration work you need so you can improve the function and look of your teeth. We look forward to seeing you.