Cosmetic Dentistry: What Are Inlays?

cosmetic dentistry Columbia, SC

A dental inlay is a cosmetic dentistry procedure to repair a tooth whose structure has been damaged by decay to an extent where a tooth filling cannot be effective. Dental inlays are not only stronger than traditional composite fillings, but they also look more natural and can blend in seamlessly to look like the original tooth. This article covers the purpose, procedure and benefits of inlays.

Overview of dental inlays

Inlays are used as a conservative repair choice for a tooth with severe decay or a large defective filling. They are the perfect bridge between regular fillings and dental crowns. When a tooth is not too damaged to need a crown but cannot be saved with a dental filling, inlays are a practical choice. Compared to dental crowns, less tooth structure is removed during the placement of inlays.

Inlays are custom-made indirect filling that can be created from materials like composite, porcelain or gold. The porcelain version is popular because it looks like a natural tooth. Inlays are created by a dental laboratory and permanently bonded to the tooth. Once in place, inlays are highly durable and may not need repair or replacement after several years of use.

Getting dental inlays

Two dental appointments are necessary for an inlay procedure. The first appointment entails taking multiple impressions of the teeth, for creating the custom inlay and getting a temporary restoration.

After numbing the tooth, the general dentist will clean out decay or previous filling materials. The space will be cleaned properly and prepared carefully, and the dentist will shape the tooth’s surface to accommodate the inlay restoration. A temporary inlay will be placed to protect the tooth while the dental lab is producing the dental inlay.

During the second appointment, the dentist will take out the temporary onlay to apply the final restoration. They will place and cement the new inlay onto the teeth carefully. They may make adjustments to ensure that the inlay fits properly and make the bite align comfortably. Upon completion, the tooth will be back to its normal shape and function properly with most of its natural structure intact.

The dentist will provide instructions on how to properly care for the teeth at the end of the treatment. Excellent oral hygiene, good diet and regular dental visits will ensure that the new inlays last for as long as possible.

Benefits of choosing inlays

Dental inlays have the edge over alternative cosmetic dentistry options. They ensure that most of the healthy tooth structure is preserved. In case of minimal to moderate tooth decay, a full dental crown may be overkill. Inlays are the perfect choice when preserving natural tooth structure is important.

Also, the dentist can customize the inlays to make them hard to notice. This means matching the color of the porcelain material to the color of the tooth. Inlays hardly change color over time, meaning patients can enjoy years of an attractive smile. They are also highly durable and can withstand daily use.

Final note

In cosmetic dentistry, dental inlays are good options for restoring the function, outlook and structural integrity of the teeth. If you think you might benefit from getting inlays, book an appointment with the general dentist.

Request an appointment here: https://davisanddingle.com or call Davis & Dingle Family Dentistry at (803) 567-1804 for an appointment in our Columbia office.

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