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Dental Inlays for Teeth Restoration: Improve Your Smile
A dental inlay is used for cases of tooth cavities that cannot be fixed by a dental filling. Additionally, they can be used to improve the overall appearance of a tooth. Dental fillings are effective for small cavities or minor tooth decay, but they have limitations. A tooth that is missing a significant part of its structure requires better reinforcement than fillings can provide. Therefore, a dental inlay might be necessary. This article focuses on how dental inlays can be used for restoring teeth, thus improving smile appearances.
What is a dental inlay?
A dental inlay is an indirect restoration that fixed to the tooth. Inlays are created in a dental lab using the impressions of the patient’s teeth. They are custom-made to fit the decayed or damaged part of the tooth. Unlike a dental onlay, an inlay covers the chewing surface and reaches the sides of the tooth. It only fills a tooth whose cusp is not damaged.
When a patient suffers from a toothache, the dentist will examine the tooth to detect the cause of the pain. If a large cavity or broken filling is the cause, they may decide to repair the tooth with an inlay. First, they will numb the tooth and remove the decayed part of the tooth using a dental drill. The tooth will be cleaned thoroughly and prepared by slightly abrading the surface to adhere to the inlay.
Afterward, the dentist will take an impression of the tooth and forward it to the dental lab that will produce the custom-made inlay. The tooth will be covered with a temporary restoration while the permanent inlay is in production. After the inlay is fabricated, the patient will return for an appointment, where the dentist will remove the temporary restoration and apply the inlay to the tooth.
The need for dental inlays
When cavities get too extensive to be repaired with regular dental fillings, the dentist will opt to restore the tooth with a more solid or sturdier restoration. This restoration will serve as reinforcement to prevent further damages to the tooth. Additionally, it can restore the tooth so that it appears more aesthetically-pleasing, thus encouraging a smile improvement.
A dentist may also suggest an inlay if the patient’s tooth has been broken or loose. If the dental filling fails and stops working properly, it may start to damage the tooth. This eventually necessitates a stronger and more durable restoration option like an inlay. The dental inlay will seal the tooth in place of the failed dental filling.
An inlay is only used as a dental restoration when the chewing surface and cusps of the tooth are intact. A tooth that has lost missing parts of its external structure needs a more extensive option like an onlay. If the cusps of the tooth are missing, the dentist will recommend an onlay. In a more severe case where a large portion of the tooth is damaged, a dental crown might be necessary.
When experiencing problems with a tooth, it is best to talk with a dentist about getting a dental inlay. It is a great option to restore a tooth that is in bad shape, while also encouraging a smile improvement. Reach out today to get started!
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