Many individuals of all ages find themselves in need of a smile makeover. This may be due to a number of reasons such as discolored, misaligned, misshapen or broken teeth. There are numerous treatment options today for dental patients to correct their smiles and feel happier and more confident.Dentists assess each patient's oral health and…
General Dentistry Restoration Treatments: Dental Inlays
General dentistry uses restorations like dental inlays and onlays to prevent tooth decay from damaging a tooth further, to rebuild the appearance of a tooth, and to restore its function. These restorations work similarly to the way fillings work. The inlay/onlay closes up cavities created by tooth decay, preventing it from expanding. The main difference between fillings and inlays is the fact the latter is made in a dental lab then cemented to the tooth, while fillings are applied directly to the tooth.
How general dentistry uses inlays to restore teeth
Inlays are similar to crowns in how they are used in general dentistry. Both restorations are typically made in a lab, and getting them the traditional way requires two trips to the dentist. Both restorations are used to treat the damage done by tooth decay or trauma. Crowns are used for more severe cases, while inlays are usually used when the damage is too large for fillings but not quite large enough for crowns.
Inlays can be made from a variety of materials. Inlays made from composite resin or porcelain provides the most natural-looking fix. These restorations can be color-matched with the patient's teeth, making it difficult to notice any repairs made. Inlays can last over 10 years with good oral hygiene.
Inlays are placed inside of the cusps of teeth. They fill up the space created by damage or decay to a tooth being treated, preventing the damage to the tooth from getting worse.
Inlays are often recommended over large fillings when a tooth has a large cavity. Repairs with onlays look more natural and it does a better job of strengthening the damaged tooth.
The dental inlay process
Getting an inlay starts with a consultation with a dentist. The dentist evaluates the patient's teeth to determine if it is the right treatment for them. A visual examination and diagnostic tests like x-rays may be used for this evaluation.
The dentist then prepares the patient's tooth for the restoration. This involves removing decayed material from the tooth and cleaning the area. The installation of an inlay requires the removal of less tooth material than a crown would necessitate.
After preparing any teeth that need an inlay, the dentist will take an impression of the patient's mouth. The impression is sent to technicians in a lab who make inlays. It takes about two weeks for the finished inlay to get back to the dentist. The patient is fitted with a temporary inlay to protect their tooth while their customized restoration is being made.
During the second appointment, the dentist takes off the patient's temporary inlay and cements the customized inlay on the tooth. Alterations are made as needed until the dentist is satisfied with the fit. The patient walks out of the clinic with their smile restored.
We can fix your smile
Call or visit our Peoria clinic to learn more about how we can fix your decayed teeth with restorations like inlays.
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