If you have a cavity, and your decay lies within the cusps of the tooth, inlays provide a way to maintain the structural integrity of your tooth without the risk of further decay that comes with fillings.
What are inlays?
A dental inlay is similar to a filling, in that it fills a hole in a tooth caused by decay. Inlays, however, allow more of the natural teeth to remain untouched, preserving structural integrity. They can be made from a variety of materials, but the most common are gold and porcelain. Inlays are sometimes used to replace old metal fillings, or to repair cracked or broken teeth.
What is the difference between gold and porcelain inlays?
Porcelain inlays provide a much more natural appearance, as they can be matched to the color of your teeth, but porcelain is more brittle and susceptible to breaking than gold. Both provide a lasting result, and insulate the nerves of the teeth, preventing pain and further decay.
What happens during the procedure?
On the first visit, the decay will be removed, and a mold will be made of your tooth, and a temporary inlay placed. This mold will be sent to a dental laboratory, and a custom inlay will be crafted that will fit your tooth perfectly. On your return visit, the temporary inlay will be removed, and the permanent inlay placed. Dr. Andres will make sure that the inlay fits properly and doesn’t interfere with bite function. The inlay will then be cemented in place, and the surface polished.
Is it painful?
No. If required, Dr. Andres will use local anesthesia during the decay removal process. You can expect some increased sensitivity and mild discomfort in the affected area immediately following the procedure. You can return to normal activities the moment you leave the dental office.
Is any special care required?
Good dental hygiene should be practiced. Brush the teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice daily, and floss at least once daily. Avoid biting down on hard objects and other bad habits like nail biting or teeth grinding to avoid breakage. Your dentist will provide you with a full set of guidelines to follow regarding your recovery and aftercare. Be sure to ask questions about anything that you don’t understand.