Are You a Candidate for Inlays?

When you have a cavity, you probably assume you’ll need a filling. However, that’s only one way to treat damage or decay in a permanent tooth.

Our team at South Bay Prosthodontics in Torrance, California, offers cutting-edge restorative treatments designed to repair damaged, broken, or missing teeth. If you have a cavity, you could be a candidate for a cosmetic treatment called an inlay.

What sets an inlay apart

Inlays serve a similar purpose to a traditional dental filling. They both repair tooth damage by filling a hole or gap in your tooth’s surface. But they’re very different treatments.

When you get a filling, your dentist applies tooth-colored material inside the hole in your tooth and hardens it with a special light. An inlay, on the other hand, comes pre-molded specifically to your tooth. 

To custom-make restoration, we take an impression of your tooth. Then, we send it to our in-house lab so our master craftsman — one of the best in Southern California — can fashion the inlay from porcelain or composite resin material. 

This process gives an inlay a barely visible appearance, making it a natural-looking cosmetic restoration.

When to consider an inlay

Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to repair tooth decay or damage. For example, a filling can repair any part of a cracked, worn, or broken tooth. Sometimes, however, severe decay or weakness can require more extensive protection, like a crown that completely covers the visible portion of the tooth.

Inlays also serve a specific purpose. This restoration fits into the grooves of a tooth, but it doesn’t extend beyond the tips (cusps). If you have decay on that area, or the biting surface of your tooth, an onlay could provide better solutions. These custom-made treatments are similar to inlays, but they extend over the tips of a tooth.

We might recommend an inlay for a variety of reasons, such as when:

The only way to determine if an inlay is right for you is to schedule a comprehensive evaluation with one of our prosthodontists.

What to expect when getting an inlay

If we find that you're a good candidate for an inlay, the process is simple and straightforward.

During your first appointment, we prepare your tooth by removing any bacteria and decay. This process is painless because we apply a local anesthetic to numb your teeth and gums. And, if you have dental anxiety, we also offer sedation dentistry to keep you relaxed every step of the way.

After cleaning your tooth, we take an impression and send it to our in-house lab.

At your next visit, we use dental cement to secure your custom-made inlay into place, which usually takes less than 90 minutes.

Are you ready to see if you’re a good candidate for an inlay? Contact our office by calling 310-378-9261 to schedule an appointment today. 

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