Dr. Daniell Mishaan uses dental inlays to treat teeth that have suffered damage or decay within the indented top surfaces. Inlays are used in situations in which the damage to the tooth is too great for a filling and not significant enough for a crown. Some patients also prefer this treatment as a more natural-looking alternative to replace old, damaged, or unsightly metal fillings.
What’s The Difference Between Dental Inlays and Onlays?
An inlay is a type of restoration that typically looks like natural teeth and fixes an existing tooth that is too damaged to support a filling, but not so much that it needs a crown. It covers the chewing surface between the cusps, while onlays restore one or more fractured cusps.
Both inlays and onlays are intended to repair the tooth’s chewing surface, and in some cases, repair teeth with other restoration options: the filling, which fills a hole in the tooth, and the crown, which covers most of the tooth.
Dental Inlay Materials
A dentist may choose from materials such as gold, tooth-colored composite resin and porcelain to create an inlay, depending on your choice of aesthetic appeal, longevity and your budget. Regardless of the material your dentist recommends, inlays are often more durable than amalgam or composite fillings, less expensive than crowns and are not likely to have complications during the procedure.
Dental Inlay Procedure
First, Dr. Mishaan will take a mold of your tooth to send to a dental laboratory to have the inlay created to your tooth’s specifications. Once the inlay is sent back to Dr. Mishaan, he will permanently fix the inlay to the tooth and you can return to your normal schedule. Dental inlays are made from very durable, off-white porcelain that properly strengthens the tooth and provides amazing aesthetic benefits.
Placing an Inlay
Typically, an inlay procedure is an “indirect dental restoration,” a restoration that requires a mold made in a laboratory and is usually completed in two or more visits. The dentist administers local anesthesia, prepares your tooth, makes a mold of the area and places a temporary inlay. Then, the mold is sent to a dental lab where the custom inlay is created.
While this whole process normally takes a few visits, recent advancements in dental technology such as CEREC® have now made it possible to complete these procedures in just one visit.
Maintaining & Taking Care of Your Inlay
Just like with natural teeth, caring for inlays requires good oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing daily, things you should already be doing anyway. And don’t forget your regular dental checkups — these visits allow your dentist to detect any problems at their early stages.
Dr. Mishaan and his staff would be happy to discuss dental inlays with you. Please feel free to call our office for a private consultation, or schedule an appointment with Dr. Mishaan.