Dental inlays are dental restorations used to repair damaged or decayed teeth. They are indirect restorations, meaning they are fabricated outside of the mouth and then bonded to the tooth. Inlays are used to restore teeth that have mild to moderate decay or damage. They serve as cosmetic and functional restorations because they preserve the tooth's structure while preventing further decay in the damaged area. An inlay is fabricated in a dental lab from impressions of the patient’s teeth. The restoration will be shaped to fit the cavity and bonded to the tooth using special cement. At Danny Shiri DDS, dental inlays can be made from different materials, including porcelain, composite resin, or gold. Porcelain inlays are popular due to their tooth-like appearance and ability to match the natural color of the teeth. Composite resin inlays offer excellent aesthetics and can be directly bonded to the tooth. Gold inlays, although less commonly used today, are known for their durability and longevity.
Patients who require inlays are typically in good oral health and deal with minor to moderate amounts of tooth decay or damage to one or more of their teeth. Because inlays are custom-crafted to fit each patient’s unique case, they are more expensive than traditional fillings but less expensive than crowns. Patients can usually expect their inlay to last at least ten years with proper oral hygiene habits. In addition to brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once daily, avoiding chewing ice and hard candy is also advisable to prevent chipping or fracturing the restoration.
The Procedure for Dental Inlays
The dentist will prepare the affected tooth during the first visit by removing the decayed or damaged portion. An impression of the tooth will be taken, serving as a model for creating the custom-made inlay. A temporary filling may be placed to protect the tooth while the permanent inlay is being fabricated at a dental laboratory. During the second visit, the temporary filling is removed, and the dentist will bond the final inlay to the tooth using dental cement.
The Benefits of Dental Inlays
Porcelain and composite resin inlays can be color-matched to the natural shade of the teeth, providing a seamless and natural appearance.
Inlays allow for the preservation of healthy tooth structure as only the damaged or decayed portion is removed.
Strength and Durability
Inlays made from porcelain or gold are highly durable and can withstand the forces of biting and chewing.
Minimal Tooth Sensitivity
Inlays can help reduce tooth sensitivity, providing a protective barrier against temperature changes and stimuli.
Dental inlays are a versatile and effective treatment option for restoring damaged or decayed teeth. If you may benefit from a dental inlay, visit Danny Shiri DDS at 6310 San Vicente Blvd Ste 295, Los Angeles, CA 90048, or call (323) 935-9102.