In the past, inlay restorations were traditionally made of dental composite, gold, or metal amalgam. Today, porcelain inlays are increasing in popularity because they more easily match the shade of your natural tooth. Porcelain inlays must be made in a professional dental laboratory and permanently cemented to your teeth in your dentist’s office.
Porcelain inlays are a conservative option used to repair teeth that have been damaged by trauma or decay, or to replace large fillings that have become defective. Many people are also choosing to have their metal amalgam fillings replaced with porcelain inlays. Inlays provide a more conservative alternative to dental crowns, as they require less of the tooth structure to be removed than dental crowns.
What Issues Can a Porcelain Inlays Correct?
Porcelain inlays can be used to correct a number of dental issues, including:
- Fractured or broken teeth
- Teeth that are decayed or have large cavities
- Fillings that have become fractured
- Replacing large fillings
- Cosmetic enhancement
What is Involved in Getting a Porcelain Inlays?
Porcelain inlay restorations generally require two visits to your dentist’s office. During your first appointment, your dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth. The tooth in question will be numbed and your dentist will remove the old filling and/or any decayed tooth material. The resulting space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully shaped to fit an inlay restoration. Your dentist will then take a mold of the tooth and space that will be sent to a dental laboratory where your porcelain inlay will be made. A temporary filling will then be put into place until your permanent inlay arrives.
During your second appointment, your dentist will numb your tooth and carefully cement the new inlay into place. Your dentist will check the fit and make any necessary adjustments to ensure your bite is comfortable. Once the inlay is in place, your dentist will provide you with instructions for caring for your porcelain inlay. You will need to continue practicing your good oral hygiene practices, eat a good diet, and maintain a schedule of regular dental visits to prolong the life of your porcelain inlay.