When Would a Dentist Recommend a Dental Inlay?
One of the most common reasons you might need to see your dentist for dental inlay treatment is if you suffer from periodontal disease. This condition damages the tissues and bones that hold your teeth in place, and it can lead to the eventual loss of those teeth if left untreated. As such, some dentists may recommend inlay as an effective way to strengthen and repair your teeth and protect them from further damage if they aren't completely healthy already.
What is a dental inlay?
An inlay is one of three types of fillings. Those who want to know are different from composite resins and dental crowns by their less invasive nature. An inlay is precisely what it sounds like: an overlay designed to conceal flaws or damage. If you've got a crack on your tooth (or teeth), let's go over whether you should ask for an inlay first.
An inlay is typically made from composite resin, although it's possible to make one from porcelain. It's placed directly on top of your tooth, and it can be used to hide cracks or chips. A dental inlay isn't only used for cosmetic reasons, however. You may have heard that an inlay can protect your tooth underneath it. This is true, but there are some limitations.
Why would I need a dental inlay?
An dental inlay is recommended for repairing damage to your tooth's structure, which is usually caused by decay or trauma. The damage needs to be extensive enough that your tooth needs to be topped off with an artificial layer of enamel or dentin. A dentist will never recommend an inlay if you have healthy teeth with only minor chips, cracks, etc. An inlay procedure is also recommended if you need more surface area due to large fillings or crowns. If you're considering getting an inlay on one of your teeth for any reason, talk to your dentist to ensure it's right for you!
What are dental inlays made from?
Inlays are made from several different materials, including composite resin, porcelain, gold alloys, and ceramics. Composite resins are tooth-colored plastics that replicate your teeth' natural color. Porcelain inlays are created using dental stone material to make them look like natural teeth. Gold inlays are another popular material for inlays due to their durability and close resemblance to natural teeth. Ceramic is very rare because of its high price tag but can also create an artificial tooth due to its strength.
Inlays are made from different types of materials, but they also come in several colors, including yellow and white. They can even have a unique design or pattern etched into them that helps their stability and appearance. Your dentist will determine which material is best for your individual needs. For example, if you have a tooth weakened by years of grinding your teeth, you may benefit from ceramic inlays due to their high durability. However, if you grind your teeth frequently or have decaying teeth from poor dental hygiene habits, then gold inlays might be better suited for you because they're known to last longer than other materials.
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