3 Important Things To Know About Dental Inlays

28 June 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Dental inlays are an exciting new cosmetic dentistry technique with a wide range of applications. Yet many people fail to appreciate the benefits of inlays--simply because they don't understand them well enough. If you would like to increase your awareness of modern dental techniques, read on. This article will teach you three important things to know about dental inlays.

Inlays restore the appearance of damaged teeth.

No matter how assiduous your dental hygiene regimen, sooner or later decay will take its toll. Fortunately, it is no longer necessary to simply live with the negative appearance caused by dental decay. Inlays are a great way to restore your smile to its original beauty. In fact, inlays promote a much more natural appearance than either fillings or crowns, meaning nobody will be able to realize that your tooth has been repaired.

Inlays belong to the class of indirect fabrication techniques.

What this means is that inlays are created using a mold made from your damaged tooth. Before this can be done, however, the decayed portions of a tooth must be thoroughly removed. Then a mold is created using a soft putty that is pressed into place around the tooth. Once the mold has hardened, it is used to create an inlay out of resin or ceramic. This inlay, specially tinted to match the adjacent teeth, is then adhered to the tooth using a special bonding cement.

Inlays are more versatile than fillings.

Dental fillings are advantageous when it comes to filling in drilled-out cavities. They aren't capable of addressing issues beyond that, however. For instance, they cannot be used to alter or improve the contour of a damaged tooth. Inlays can. An inlay can even do double duty--filling in the part of a damaged tooth that has been removed, while also addressing unrelated issues such as large gaps between neighboring teeth.

The benefits of inlays don't stop there, however. They also constitute a significantly more durable means of tooth repair than fillings. You see, fillings are created out of a type of dental resin that has a tendency to shrink as it hardens. While this shrinkage is admittedly minimal, it can still be enough to weaken the bond between filling and tooth. This increases the likelihood of the filling working loose down the line.

Dental inlays, by comparison, are crafted to much more precise specifications. Even those inlays that are constructed out of resin take into account the dimensional changes caused by shrinkage. This makes them much more impervious to the stress caused by biting and chewing, and less likely to come loose or become damaged as time goes on. For more information, contact a dentist, who can discuss more of the benefits of dental inlays, or other procedures like dental crowns.