Dental cavities are the result of gradual tooth decay. As time progresses, cavities grow in size, develop infections, and if left unabated the cavity will cause tooth loss. A common treatment for cavities is the removal of the decaying tooth matter and filling it with either an amalgam or resin compound.
Yet, there is another option that can protect teeth and strengthen them. Let’s talk about dental inlays!
What Is Involved With Getting A Dental Inlay
When the majority of the tooth’s decay rests within the cusp of a tooth, it is a great candidate for an inlay. Since molars have the larger cusp areas and typically suffer the most from cusp cavities, inlay are typically used on these teeth.
To begin the process, an impression of the tooth is taken and then a dental inlay is created. Some dental practices have a separate lab construct the inlay while others have in-house labs. In either case, the inlay is typically composed of ceramic or a high-grade porcelain. Our team takes extra care to match the inlay with the tooth’s natural color.
Benefits of Inlays
While traditional fillings can stop decay from proceeding, they can cause a tooth to become weakened. The weakening can occur because amalgam fillings do not bond to teeth. As their name suggests, they simply fill areas where the decay formerly existed. Amalgam fillings have been known to create wedges that compromise teeth over time.
Conversely, inlays are bonded to teeth and the result is stability to the chewing surface and strength to the entire tooth. We, and many other dentists, have seen how inlays have lasted significantly longer than amalgam fillings. In terms of tooth preservation, functionality, appearance, and improved strength, inlays are consistently the better option over amalgam fillings.
If you have molar cavities, an inlay may be exactly what you need. Even if the cavity is pretty extensive you can benefit from an onlay (which is similar to an inlay). Call Craig Conrow DDS MS FACP today to set up the best dental appointment you’ve ever had! 760.485.3737.