If you have a cavity that has become too large to be treated with a filling, there is a procedure that could potentially spare you from needing a root canal and crown: an inlay. An inlay is a custom-made restorative device made of porcelain that fits perfectly into your tooth’s cavity. At New York Smile Institute, our dentists recommend inlays to patients with a tooth that does need repair but does not necessarily need more drastic treatment.
Benefits of Inlays
Inlays are a good way to repair teeth that are cracked, chipped or have mild to moderate decay. They are highly durable and can last in your mouth much longer than traditional fillings. They are also less likely to leave gaps in the cavity where decay can return. On average, inlays tend to cost less than related treatments such as dental crowns.
Inlay Procedure: What to Expect
You will receive an inlay over the course of two appointments. At your first visit, your dentist will numb the affected tooth and remove any decay and debris. Once the tooth is completely clean, he will take a detailed impression or mold of the tooth so that a laboratory can create an inlay that perfectly fits the crevice at the center of the tooth. Before you leave, you will receive a temporary filling to protect the tooth in the interim.
Once your custom inlay is ready, you will return to New York Smile Institute to have it put on your tooth permanently. After your dentist cleans out your temporary filling, he will check that the newly created inlay fits just right and does not impair your natural biting motion. He will then cement it into place, where it should last more than a decade.
What Makes an Inlay Different from an Onlay?
Because they serve similar functions, inlays and onlays are often confused. An inlay is generally used for decay located at the center of the tooth. It is molded to fit into the natural grooves of the tooth.
Onlays can address more severe cases of decay while also covering the entire surface of the tooth, including the cusps. After examining your mouth, the dentists at New York Smile Institute will be able to tell you whether the situation calls for an inlay, onlay or another procedure entirely.
Dental Inlay Results and Care
Hard and sticky foods can jeopardize the longevity of your tooth, particularly in the initial days following your procedure. Adjust your diet to feature softer foods to ensure that your inlay remains cemented in place. Because your tooth will be sensitive for a couple days after receiving an inlay, our dentists encourage you to avoid hot or cold beverages since extreme temperatures can aggravate that sensitivity.
Other than that, you should brush and floss your teeth with inlays the same as you do your normal teeth. Maintaining good oral hygiene habits should help you to avoid needing additional inlays in the future.
Schedule an Appointment
There are many ways to repair dental flaws. Your smartest move as a patient is to choose a dentist who can examine the nuances and determine which procedure is best suited for the situation at hand. If your tooth can be successfully treated with an inlay rather than a crown, the outstanding team at New York Smile Institute will make sure that option is presented to you. For an appointment, call (212) 319-6363 today.
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The Dr. Dean Experience
Dentist of the Dentists
Dr. Dean Vafiadis is the Founder of New York Smile Institute and a respected Prosthodontic specialist in New York and around the world. He also serves as an Associate Professor of Prosthodontics at NYU College of Dentistry and routinely lectures around the world on dentistry. His mission is to serve his patients’ dental needs while also helping to advance dental care treatments and therapeutics on an industry level.