Inlays: A Great Defense Against Tooth Decay

If you have a large cavity or damage on the chewing surface of your tooth, it’s easy to assume you need a dental crown. But custom-made inlays could offer effective results and leave more of your healthy tooth tissue intact.  

Traditional dental crowns repair damage by covering your entire tooth with a protective cap. While a crown can be the best solution for some dental issues, inlays offer a more conservative repair solution. Why? Because they only fill the area of your tooth that is damaged. 

At South Bay Prosthodontics, our team has advanced training in restorative “cosmetic” dental techniques, including custom-made inlays. Here are a few reasons why inlays make a great solution for tooth decay.

Inlays preserve your natural tooth structure

When you get a dental crown, we have to reshape your existing tooth so we can cover it with a protective cap. This process involves removing healthy tooth tissue. 

Inlays, on the other hand, cover only the damaged area, not your entire tooth. These restorations fit within the grooves of your teeth — between the small points (cusps) — on the chewing surface of your teeth. That means we only remove the damaged tissue to achieve a good fit and effective results.

Our team can also use a similar approach known as an onlay to repair damage that includes the tooth cusps.

Inlays treat a variety of dental issues

Sometimes, a tooth can have a large area of damage that’s too big for a simple filling but too small for a full-coverage crown. These types of dental problems can range from cracks or chips to large cavities. By treating these dental issues with an inlay, we can restore the damaged tooth, increase the strength of your tooth structure, and repair the chewing surface of your tooth.

Plus, since our master craftsman — one of the best in the Los Angeles area — uses the highest-quality materials to make your inlay, you can rest assured that your restoration will match your natural teeth, blending perfectly with your smile to provide natural-looking results.

Getting an inlay is hassle-free

Having an inlay or an onlay typically involves two appointments. 

During your first visit, we numb your tooth to keep you comfortable and remove any decay. Next, we take impressions of your mouth to send to our in-house master craftsman so we can fabricate your custom-made inlay out of tooth-colored ceramic or resin. Before sending you home, we cover your restoration site with a temporary filling. 

At your second appointment, we replace your temporary filling with your custom inlay, and bond it securely in place.

Inlays provide easy-care solutions

When you repair tooth decay or damage with the dental inlay, you get results that last. Simply care for them like the rest of your teeth by brushing and flossing daily and scheduling regular dental cleanings at our office. In fact, with proper care you can expect your inlays to last 20-30 years; composite resin fillings typically last for five years.

To see if you’re a good candidate for dental inlays, contact our office in Torrance, California, by calling 310-626-1791 today. You can also send a message to the team at any time here on our website.

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