Dental inlays are dental treatments that fill or cover the bumpy spaces between the cusps of your teeth. Usually made of zirconia, porcelain, or composite resin, inlays are often applied as either an alternative or addition to a traditional cavity filling.
These dental treatments add support and strength to weakened teeth, sometimes increasing the strength of a tooth up to 75%. Inlays are also used because the material can match the color of your teeth, making fillings nearly invisible.
You may choose to get an inlay to protect a tooth after a filling or to create a natural appearance, instead of having an obvious, dark amalgam filling in your mouth. Inlays are often called partial crowns because they also provide protection and support. Inlays involve a less invasive installation process than crowns, so Dr. Levit recommends inlays when suitable.
Inlays are custom made to specifically fit the bumps and crevices of your teeth, and installation typically requires two visits.
During your first visit, Dr. Levit cleans your tooth and removes any decay. He takes an impression of your tooth, which is used in the lab to make the inlay to fit your tooth exactly. Before you leave, Dr. Levit applies a temporary sealant to protect your tooth while your inlay is being made.
At your second appointment, Dr. Levit removes the temporary seal and fits the inlay onto your tooth. He checks the fit and ensures your bite isn’t affected by the treatment. If everything is satisfactory, he bonds the inlay to your tooth.
There are a number of benefits to dental inlays. Inlays are excellent tools for tooth preservation. They also add strength to your teeth. Unlike traditional fillings that require more of your natural tissue to be removed, which can lead to tooth weakness, inlays are custom made to fit your tooth precisely.
Also, since inlays are custom made for you, there is little to no risk of pockets between your natural tooth and the treatment where bacteria can hide and cause further decay and damage.
Many patients prefer inlays because they are nearly invisible against natural teeth. Zirconia and porcelain are also resistant to staining and discoloration, which contributes to an attractive appearance.
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