Dental inlays

Dental inlays act as a medium between having a filling and a dental crown. They are most often used on any rear teeth which have decayed to a moderate extent. They can also be used to be placed on some teeth that have been fractured to some degree, although those which have suffered severe fractures will, in most cases, benefit more from having a crown fitted.

Gold Inlays

Gold inlays are sometimes used although these are naturally more expensive than the alternatives. Gold does however offer added strength and because these are mostly used on the rear teeth, the visual appearance, whilst noticeable is not as obvious.

Porcelain Inlays

Porcelain is the most common material to be used for dental inlays. It is a strong material, although not as strong as gold, and is therefore fully suitable for use on both the more visible front teeth and the rear teeth. The rear teeth need to be the strongest as they endure the daily wear and tear of grinding up our food. Porcelain also has the additional advantage that it can be produced to match the shade of the remaining tooth which is especially important for the more visible teeth.

The Procedure

As with fillings, any decayed material will be removed and the cavity will then cleaned out and prepared. An impression is then taken in order for the laboratory to prepare the inlay. A second visit will be needed once the inlay has been made and it will be fitted during the second visit.
Due to the nature of an inlays, they can have the effect of strengthening the tooth by up to 75% which makes them a useful tool in any dentist’s repertoire. Inlays can either be made of Porcelain or Cast Metal. Under the NHS sector, non-precious gold inlays are most commonly done by dentists.

Inlays are generally advised where the cavity is too large to place a filling or if the cavity extends beneath theĀ  gum margin. In the latter, fillings will prove unsuccessful in the long term due to leakage problems.

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