The first procedures that come to mind for most people who hear the term “dental restoration” are implants, bridges, and crowns. Not many people consider a filling as a restorative option. However, fillings, especially composite fillings, are one of the most common and versatile restoration solutions for more issues than just cavities. Fillings come in…
When a Dental Inlay Is the Recommended Option
Having a dental inlay can be a good way to protect your tooth and restore its appearance. You are probably familiar with crowns and fillings as restorative treatments. Inlays might not be as common, but this does not mean you should not consider them. In some ways, it has benefits that other options do not have. There are also situations and conditions where it would make more sense to choose this method. Your general dentist can talk to you about whether you are a good candidate.
The difference between a dental inlay and other restorations
Dentists frequently treat cavities as well as tooth damage, such as chips and cracks. These issues can occur because of a patient’s inattention to good oral hygiene. Decay causes cavities — holes in the tooth that can cause deterioration. Large cavities can also lead to physical damage, which can affect the patient’s health and smile.
Dentists put fillings directly in the tooth after removing the decay. These are useful for smaller or medium-sized cavities. Crowns are caps that fit over the entire tooth, stabilizing it when it is weak. The crown looks like a natural tooth. An inlay is a pre-molded piece that a technician fabricates according to the specific size and shape of the cavity or missing part of the tooth. The inlay fits in the grooves of the tooth and bonds to it with cement.
For larger cavities
When tooth decay is too large for a filling to support, the dentist may recommend two other options. One is a crown, which often is part of a root canal procedure. The other is a dental inlay. This will restore teeth with larger cavities when the biting surface has not been affected. Because the dentist can make the piece the exact size and shape of the cavity, it can cover bigger holes.
Tooth decay is not the only cause of damage the patient could suffer. A chipped tooth can be the result of the person biting into a hard food or a hard object. A blow to the mouth from a fall, collision, or sports injury can also knock off part of a tooth. This is common with front teeth. The dental inlay can be effective in building up the tooth and making it look natural again. The dentist can use ceramic, porcelain, or composite materials, which are the same color shade as the tooth.
For people who want to preserve the whole tooth
Crowns can do a good job of restoring the function and appearance of a tooth. Unfortunately, to place a crown, the dentist must shave away part of the tooth and reshape it. When a patient wants to keep the entire tooth and avoid this invasive work, a dental inlay is a viable option. Removing part of the tooth is not necessary with inlays. Instead, the dentist attaches it with cement.
Get a new smile and repair other conditions with inlays
Now is a good time to talk to your dentist about getting a dental inlay. It should be clear to see why this option has some advantages. Understand when it is a smart alternative to fillings and crowns. Then you can be comfortable with your choice.
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