More and more dentists are choosing a dental inlay as a way to restore teeth. Inlays can help with both cosmetic and health issues for a variety of reasons. In some cases, this treatment can be preferable to others. If you are not sure about how this procedure works, it is helpful to learn more…
Three Things to Know About Dental Inlays
When a tooth is damaged, one of the options the dentist might recommend is a dental onlay. Also known as an indirect filling, dental inlays can help restore the appearance and function of the tooth. If you are curious about this tooth restoration option, this article covers three important things you need to know.
Dental inlays are a conservative solution for tooth damage
The dentist usually suggests inlays based on the extent and nature of the dental problem. Inlays are ideally used for repairing a damaged or decayed tooth resulting from cavities. Inlays are the best choice if the cavity is too severe to be fixed with a dental filling but not severe enough to receive a crown.
Unlike crowns, which cover the tooth entirely, they only cover the damaged portion of the tooth. This makes it more conservative as it saves most of the tooth’s original structure. The dentist will examine the tooth carefully and recommend the best option. An inlay must be differentiated from onlays. Inlays are used when the tooth cusps are not affected, but if the dentist is recommending onlays, at least one of the tooth cusps is also damaged with the tooth surface.
Dental inlays have many benefits
An inlay is highly durable, considering they are usually created from porcelain, a resilient material that offers adequate support and functionality to the tooth. With adequate care, an inlay can last up to two decades. Inlays are also custom-made with impressions, making them better fitting than dental fillings. The dentist can also customize the inlay to look exactly like the tooth. The dental restoration requires no special maintenance requirement and are less prone to stains or discoloration.
The procedure requires two appointments
The placement of inlays requires two dental appointments. On the first day of treatment, the dentist will discuss the process with the patient and address any concerns. A topical anesthetic will be administered locally to the site of tooth damage to minimize discomfort. Sometimes, preparing a tooth for inlay may not need a local anesthetic.
After numbing the tooth, the dentist will fit a dental dam to isolate the affected tooth. Afterward, they will remove the damaged or decayed part of the tooth. The dentist might use decay detection dye to ensure there is no trace of decay on the tooth. This allows them to remove every decayed material without removing too much of the tooth’s structure. If the cavity is too deep, a base layer may be used to medicate or insulate the tooth pulp. Afterward, impressions of the tooth will be taking to create permanent dental inlay.
At the second appointment, the dentist may reapply local anesthetic before removing the temporary filling used to protect the tooth. The permanent inlay will be bonded over the tooth, and any necessary adjustment to the tooth will be made.
A dental inlay is an ideal solution for a tooth that is too damaged to get a dental filling. It can restore the function and appearance of the tooth. To learn more about the process, book an appointment with the dentist.
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