Where possible, an inlay is often used in place of a crown, which can be more expensive and invasive to fit.
Inlays are most commonly used on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, where they help to restore strength and function. They are hard-wearing and can withstand larger forces than a standard filling.
Inlays are manufactured very precisely and accurately, ensuring they fit into the tooth perfectly. As such, they feel comfortable and natural, just like your other teeth. They are also easier to clean, helping to protect the tooth and gums from decay.
The inlays we use at Aesthetique Dental Care are made from either porcelain or gold.
Porcelain is a popular material for inlays, chosen for the aesthetic qualities. Newer types of porcelain inlays now offer patients the option of a more natural finish, whilst retaining the strength and durability of gold.
When properly maintained and looked after, a porcelain inlay can last for 20 years.
Gold has been used for many years as an effective material for inlay manufacture. Gold inlays are reliable and hard-wearing, but some patients prefer the look of the natural coloured porcelain.
When looked after correctly, a gold inlay can last for many years.
Amalgam and composite fillings have a tendency to shrink after they have hardened into place, resulting in fine cracks and gaps. Due to this, they can significantly weaken the tooth and could cause further treatment to be needed in the future.
However, inlays can actually help to increase the strength of a tooth by up to 75%, making them a successful, cost-effective and long-term solution. Often, an inlay doesn’t just help to prolong the life of a decayed tooth; it can prevent the need for further treatment.
We will need at least two appointments to fit your inlay.
Firstly, any decay or old fillings on the tooth will need to be removed and the cavity will be cleaned and prepared. We take impressions of the tooth which are then used to produce your inlay. A temporary restoration will be placed to protect your tooth between appointments.
At your second appointment, around 2 weeks later, we will ensure the inlay fits correctly, is the right size and feels comfortable when you bite. When you are completely happy, we will bond the inlay to your tooth using strong dental adhesive.
When your inlay is first fitted, it may feel slightly strange until you get used to the feeling of it in your mouth.
Be careful when biting on the tooth, particularly over the first few days. You may want to consider sticking with a softer diet for this time, or eat harder foods on the opposite side of your mouth.
An inlay should be looked after in the same way as any of your other teeth, to prevent the development of decay. If you experience any problems or pain, please contact us straight away.
It is also important to attend regular check up appointments with your dentist, who will be able to check the inlay for any damage or other issues.
Yes, inlays are generally considered longer lasting than fillings and a long term tooth restoration solution. When looked after correctly, including with an effective brushing routine at home and regular visits to the dentist, inlays can last over 20 years.
In most cases, an inlay is permanent and will not need to be removed. However, if any further damage or decay occurs in the tooth, the inlay may need to be removed and replaced.
Inlays are generally thought of as a less expensive and less invasive alternative to a crown. Less tooth enamel and structure needs to be removed prior to fitting, so where possible an inlay is usually the preferred restorative option.
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