If your tooth is knocked out, you will be in disbelief. Even a tooth that falls out on its own will likely cause you to panic. Your thoughts will undoubtedly turn to whether it is possible to put the tooth back in your mouth.After the tooth falls out, the dentist might be able to put…
When Is a Dental Inlay Recommended?
You may not be familiar with a dental inlay and the purpose and process of this restorative treatment. Most people know about dental fillings and that they treat cavities. There are similarities with inlays but important distinctions as well. If you have tooth pain or visible damage, talk to your dentist. You may be a good candidate for an inlay. There are situations where the dentist would recommend this option to restore your tooth and relieve your pain and discomfort.
An overview of a dental inlay
Fillings are perhaps the most common type of treatment that a general dentist will perform. Inlays could be a good alternative to this restoration. An inlay is not set directly in the tooth like a filling. Instead, a technician fabricates this pre-molded piece in a lab. To properly make the inlay, the dentist will first examine the patient and take X-rays.
The inlay can be made of silver or gold. Many patients prefer composite resin inlays because they will match the color of the tooth and not affect the aesthetics of the smile. The inlay fits into the grooves of the tooth but does not extend over the cusps. The dentist bonds it in place with dental cement. Light helps to speed up the curing and hardening process.
For decay and other damage
Like fillings, a dental inlaysserves a variety of purposes. Most commonly, the dentist will suggest getting one to repair tooth decay and cavities. However, inlays can also restore the form and structure of a tooth. Patients who have suffered minor chips, cracks, or fractures could benefit from one. The inlay will build up the damaged area to make it look like a whole, natural tooth.
For large cavities
When a patient has a cavity, the dentist will determine the right treatment to repair it. Fillings are good for small to moderately sized cavities. However, when the cavity is too large for a filling to support, a dental inlay is a good option. The dentist can make the inlay to be the specific size and shape of the hole in the tooth. The inlay is also strong enough to withstand years of wear and tear. It can last up to 30 years before a replacement will be necessary.
When the dentist wants to preserve the tooth
Some large cavities will require a root canal and crown to repair the damage. This requires the removal of part of the tooth so the cap will fit properly. If the patient and dentist do not want this invasive type of work, a dental inlay makes sense. Shaving the tooth is not necessary with inlays, so the patient can keep what remains of the natural tooth.
A good alternative to fillings and other treatments
If you have tooth pain or visible damage to a tooth, your dentist can discuss treatment options. You should talk about whether you are a good candidate for a dental inlay. This restorative option has benefits that fillings do not have. Make an appointment so the dentist can place an inlay on your affected tooth.
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