FluorideJuly 24, 2015
Local AnesthesiaJuly 24, 2015
If you have a cavity, and your decay lies within the cusps of the tooth, inlays may 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, usually last longer than traditional fillings. They can be made from a variety of materials, but the most common are gold and porcelain. Because inlays require multiple visits and a laboratory fee, the cost to place inlays is substantially higher than traditional fillings. 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?
Placement of inlays will require multiple visits to our office. On the first visit, the decay will be removed, and an impression will be made of your tooth, and a temporary inlay placed. This impression 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. We 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 more so than a traditional filling. If required, we 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. Be sure to ask questions about anything that you don’t understand.