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Full Mouth Reconstruction: What Are Dental Inlays?
If you have suffered tooth damage that is affecting dental functions, you may need to undergo full mouth reconstruction. Dental inlays are often one of the treatments included in the plan to restore your smile. Inlays are offered as a more conservative alternative to dental crowns when the tooth’s structure is compromised.
An inlay is a molded restoration bonded into the grooves of a tooth (chewing surface) without extending to the cusps. It is usually used to repair the tooth when it is affected by damage or decay that leaves the tooth cusps intact.
Inlays are fabricated from composite resin material or porcelain and are customizable to match the tooth’s color. Once in place, the inlay will be indistinguishable from the teeth. Compared to regular fillings created from amalgam or composite, dental inlays are typically more durable.
Benefits of choosing inlays
Dentists often choose inlays to restore a tooth during full mouth reconstruction for the following reasons:
- Natural appearance – Inlays help to restore the smile’s appearance
- Excellent fit – Inlays do not expand or contract upon exposure to temperature like metal fillings
- Durability – Inlays can last for many years with proper care
- Minimal tooth structure – To place inlays, the dentist only needs to remove a small portion of the tooth’s surface, ensuring that the greater part of the natural tooth structure is preserved when restoring the damaged or decayed parts
When is inlay recommended
Prevention is important, but when a tooth is damaged due to decay, a dental inlay is an option to consider. The dentist might recommend inlays over regular fillings if the damage to the tooth grooves fits the following conditions:
- Damage bad enough to need a dental filling that may further weaken the tooth
- If the extent of injury does not require the removal of enough tooth structure to entail a dental crown
- Tooth decay or damage that affects the tooth cusp
Placing a dental inlay
The process of placing an inlay is simple. During an appointment with the dentist, the decay will be removed, and the tooth will be cleaned thoroughly. After the dental professional ascertains the extent of the damage, they will determine if placing a dental inlay would be the best option to restore the tooth.
The dentist will take impressions of the tooth and send them to the dental lab. After the fabrication process is complete, the patient will return to the dental office so the dentist can check the fit of the inlay. If they are pleased with the fitting, the dentist will complete the process by bonding the inlay to the tooth.
Caring for inlays
Patients might experience slight irritation after the procedure, but it is only temporary. As soon as the numbness and discomfort diminish, it is important to practice good oral hygiene. This includes brushing and flossing regularly, as well as visiting the dentist for cleanings and checkups.
Dental inlays are often the perfect choice to restore a damaged tooth when undergoing a full mouth reconstruction. The dentist will examine your teeth and recommend the best option for your dentition. To learn more about this procedure, contact the dental office to book an appointment.
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