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In the world of dentistry, inlays refer to the indirect restoration of tooth with solid materials like porcelain or gold fitted to the cavity in the affected tooth and cemented into place.  If you know what inlays are, then you should also understand that dental inlays are closely related to onlays, which more or less work in the same way with the exception that dental onlays extend to replace a cusp.

Why Dental Inlays?

 If you have teeth that have been affected by mild to moderate decay or any other sort of damage, then your dentist might consider using dental inlays as a treatment option. Inlays are highly effective in replacing damaged metal fillings. Dental inlays can also be used for eliminating tooth sensitivity as well as the eventual tooth loss that results from decay. Being developed from tooth-colored materials, inlays are typically invisible.

It should be noted that inlays are mostly considered as a treatment option when the affected tooth can’t be restored using a filling but the damage isn’t big enough to make the tooth have the need of a dental crown. In most cases, dental inlays as well as dental onlays are used for replacing old fillings. Inlays work almost like fillings and fit inside the tooth’s top edges.

The good part about dental inlays as well as onlays is that they don’t need too much of that uncomfortable tooth reduction drilling experience, helping the dentist conserve a greater portion of the original tooth structure. The customized nature enables the dentist to firmly bond the inlays to the tooth surface, which adds structural integrity as well as prevents bacteria from getting in and developing cavities.

As compared to metal fillings, inlays have a number of benefits. First of all, they are more durable. Moreover, dental inlays can be really useful in strengthening teeth by around 75%. Dental experts suggest that inlays and onlays can actually prolong tooth life while preventing the need for additional dental intervention.

How is The Procedure Carried Out?

This is basically a two-visit process. When patients make their first visit, the dentist works to shape the tooth and takes its impression with a temporary inlay being placed. The tooth’s impression is sent to the laboratory, where an inlay matching the patient’s tooth specifications is created. During the second visit, the temporary inlay is removed with the permanent inlay being positioned carefully over the patient’s tooth. As for the downtime, the patient may experience moderate tenderness in the treated region but the patient can resume regular activities right after going through the procedure.