icon-back

When a Dental Inlay Is Your Best Option

Make an Appointment

When is a Dental Inlay Your Best Option?

When it comes to dental inlays in Beverly Hills, patients are often confused about the procedure: what it is and why they need it. This post will save you from the unwanted feeling of lack of control or understanding by giving you an overall impression of inlays. We will cover what a dental inlay is, who needs them, what the procedure is and its benefits.

dental inlays and onlays on two womenWhat is a dental inlay?

A dental inlay is a filling for a cavity on your molar. Molars have large bumps, called cusps, around the outer edges of each tooth. An inlay fits entirely within the cusps.

Made of gold, composite resins or porcelain, the contents of an inlay are superior to the regular filling which are made from composite or amalgam, according to Collgate.com. They are generally considered a more durable option. However, the process is longer. This pre-molded filling should be made in a laboratory and therefore requires two visits. Additionally, inlays are more costly than regular fillings. The cost and time required are essential factors to consider, together, with your dentist.

Inlays are smaller than an onlay, sometimes called a partial crown, which covers over one or more of the cusps. Onlays also are molded to fit precisely, and the filling is created with expensive material in a laboratory before it is used to restore the tooth. This is an option for people whose biting surface is substantially affected and when significant damage has been done to the cusp of the molar.

Why do I need an inlay?

You may wonder if you need an inlay or if a regular filling, which is less expensive, will suffice. People who opt for an inlay have a cavity that has extensively damaged the tooth. If the cavity is large enough that it will weaken the remaining structure, an inlay may help.

Some people may consider a crown as a way to restore a tooth with significant cavities and decay. Inlays are used when the remaining tooth (after the decayed material has been removed) is not substantial enough to support mounting a crown.

If your dentist is recommending an inlay, it may be because there is substantial damage to the molar. Talk to your dentist about your situation and find out where the damage is occurring. Looking at the x-rays together and discussing things will result in a more peaceful and informed solution. To discover the best option for your situation, bring it up with your dentist or seek an alternative opinion. Often, there is more than one way to approach the problem. Types of solutions vary significantly by price and permanence. Discuss the long-term aspects of your dental work. While no one is excited about having dental work done, you should feel convinced and assured that you are making the best decision for the health of your mouth.

What is the procedure like?

After decay has been detected, your restorative dentist will schedule an appointment to remove and clean out the tooth. This decay is the result of bacteria growing in a portion of your molar. You will be numbed with a local anesthetic, and your dentist will drill out the cavity and clean out the decay. This removes the source of bacteria and prevents further damage. After that, your dentist will then take an impression of your tooth and have it sent to a laboratory where the filling will be made. If you have chosen to use a composite resin material for the filling, you and the dentist will pick a shade of white which best matches the color of your tooth. A temporary filling will be put on your tooth to protect the root. When the filling comes back from the laboratory, your dentist will remove the temporary filling and fit the inlay to your tooth. Your chewing surface will be restored.

Related: FAQs – Dental Inlays, Onlays and Crowns

Summary of the inlay process:

• Find cavity
• Numb with a local anesthetic
• Clean out decay
• Temporary filling
• Laboratory work
• Take out temporary filling
• Insert inlay to your tooth

What are the benefits of an inlay?

According to activedentalonline.com, there are many benefits to a dental inlay. They include:

• Durable- made from gold, composite resin or porcelain
• Long lasting – inlays can remain effective for more than twenty years
• Significant – inlays fill large cavities and avoid the use of a crown
• Less-invasive – restores your tooth with less weakening to the structure than a traditional filling

If you have a significant cavity, an inlay may be your best option. Best of all, your bite will be restored, and your molar will be healthy and useful for decades to come. Being an informed patient can help alleviate fears so that you can collaborate with your dentist to make the best decision and then proceeded with confidence.

generic close button
Request An Appointment