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When a Dental Inlay is the Right Option for Your Tooth

Posted on 9/15/2016 by Sergio Ortegon
A woman happy with her smile, after it was repaired with dental inlays.Tooth decay leads to cavities. Left untreated, cavities can lead to infections and even tooth loss. One of the most common ways to take care of a cavity is by an amalgam or composite resin filling. While fillings do their job well at stopping the decay and preventing any future damage, there is another option - dental inlays.

What is a Dental Inlay?

A dental inlay is a lab created filling. Rather than placing a soft material (amalgam or composite resin) into the cavity and drying it, the dentist takes an impression of the tooth and the cavity, which is used to create the filling.

Inlays are often made from ceramic or porcelain, which match the color of your teeth, or metal. They can also be made from composite resin, but this option is used less frequently. While they may seem similar to a traditional filling, there are times when an inlay is the better option.

Decay within the Cusp

Inlays are the best choice when the decay is within the cusps of your tooth. When the actual inlay is ready, it is cemented into place. Ceramic or porcelain provides a seamless appearance. Metal offers strength, although it doesn't match your natural teeth. Metal is good for the teeth furthest in the back, where the pressure is greater.

When the Damage is Small

Inlays work best when only one cusp is affected. If you have decay or damage that affect more than one cusp, you would require an onlay instead.

Your Tooth Needs Strengthening

An inlay is more stable than a filling and lasts longer. They also help to strengthen your tooth. A traditional filling within the cusp of your tooth can actually create a wedge, which can split your tooth if too much pressure is exerted upon it.

Tooth Preservation

Another solution to tooth decay is a crown, which is a "cap" for your tooth after decay is removed. A crown requires the tooth to be ground down. If most of the tooth is still healthy, why ruin a good tooth? An inlay allows the tooth to be preserved.

If you have a cavity, contact our office to find out if an inlay is the right choice.
Meet the Dentist

•  Board Certified Prosthodontist
•  Maxillofacial Prosthodontist
•  Assistant Clinical Professor
•  17 Years of Clinical Experience

> Read more about Dr. Ortegon


dedicated to aesthetic, reconstructive, and dental implant dentistry. It is one of only nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA). Different from a Periodontist, of ~150,000 dentists nationwide, only 2%, are Prosthodontists. > Read more

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Ortegon Prosthodontics, 4747 Bellaire Blvd, Bellaire, TX, 77401 - Related Phrases: Dental Implants Bellaire TX : Prosthodontist Houston : Dental Implants Bellaire TX : (832) 968-9108 : : 11/18/2018