FAQ - Dental Inlay - Onlay

How long do dental inlays last?

Dental inlays can potentially last for decades. This depends of course on how well you take care of your teeth, what sort of foods you eat, and a number of other factors. The condition of the tooth that the filling is placed in also has a lot to do with how long the inlay will last. After all, if your tooth decays further and a perfectly good inlay falls off then your tooth is back to where it started, in need of reconstructive dentistry. Orthodontic problems may also put undue pressure on your filled tooth, thus ruining your inlay ahead of time. 

Inlay and Onlay - FAQ

Do dental inlays hurt?

Not anymore than regular fillings or other reconstructive treatment. If the cavity is very deep then the nerve may become exposed and the tooth may hurt after it has been filled with an inlay, but this should subside in a couple of weeks. 

My tooth has become very sensitive, and the cavity is quite large. Can I still get an inlay?

Yes you can. Indeed, it is more likely that this treatment will be much better for you, as inlays and other intracoronal restoration techniques tend to desensitize teeth. So you can kill two birds with one stone, filling your tooth and stopping decay while also taking care of sensitivity.

What is the difference between an Inlay and a filling?

An inlay is a go between dental treatment. It is used for teeth where a crown is not yet needed, but a filling will simply not do the trick. It is a solution that would be delegated to the realm of restorative dentistry, along with such procedures as crowns, bridges and dentures. It is basically a partial prosthesis, or a little piece of a crown that is stuck into a living, natural tooth. The main difference, then, between fillings and inlays is that they are made of different materials. While a small crack or cavity in a tooth can be filled with white composite gradia, a larger hole or a missing piece of a tooth cannot. That is why the same materials are used when making inlays as when making crowns, the most common being porcelain and precious metals. An inlay, in this sense, can be thought of as a partial crown.  

Inaly - Onlay - FAQ Ending A Root Canal Treatment With An Inlay

A root canal treatment may entail the loss or removal of a large part of the crown of your tooth. Usually, root canal treatments are offered when a tooth is badly infected, and the very core of the tooth, the dentine or tooth pulp is either infected or has grown necrotic. During the root canal treatment, the entirety of the dentine is removed, and the tooth becomes hollow. If the hole on the surface of the tooth is quite large, it may be the case that not much of the tooth is left by the time all of the dentine is removed. To build the tooth back up so that it can be used for chewing and fulfill it’s functions, many solutions can be offered, including a post and core, and usually a crown or bridge. Inlays are another solution to sealing a root canaled tooth back up.


When an Inlay can be used

Inlays can only be used in certain cases, when there is enough of the tooth crown left that it can still be used for chewing or biting. The entire middle of the tooth crown may be missing, as long as enough of the structure is left that the tooth can still fulfill its function. In this case putting a crown on the teeth is not an option, but a simple filling may become ruined over time. This is when the use of an inlay is warranted. 

What sort of Inlay can be used

Depending on the size and location of the hole that has been drilled into the cusps of the tooth in question, it may even be necessary to make an overlay on said tooth. Any material can be used, although for an inlay of this sort, perhaps the best idea is to use tooth colored porcelain or composite gradia, as these solidify best and are much harder than gold or silver, which can also be used to make inlays. This also depends which tooth the inlay is on, because a back tooth that is used frequently for chewing will definitely need a harder material, but a tooth that is mostly used for biting can have precious metals be used, but I would still recommend ceramic, simply because it is a harder material, and thus is more durable, and because of this, more reliable.

Inlay and Onlay - FAQ

What can inlays/onlays be made out of?

There are basically three types of inlays that we can differentiate based on what materials they are made from. One of them, the rarest and worst one in terms of longevity and quality of product is the one that is made out of filling material, or tooth colored composite gradia. This is basically just a big filling, and it will fall out of teeth that are too far gone. Only in certain cases can an inlay made of this material be used.

The next one is the most common one, when the inlay or onlay is made out of porcelain. This is also tooth colored so it blends in perfectly. Basically, this inlay is like a piece of a crown used to fill up a chunk of a missing tooth. Usually, only the cusps are treated in this way, and if the piece missing is quite deep, you can use a filling to get up until the cusps, and have an inlay or an onlay covering and replacing the cusps.   

Will People Be To Tell That I Have An Inlay?

Unless that person is a dental technician, they will not. It is very hard to tell that a small piece of prosthetic tooth has been used. The inlay is tooth colored, and looks like a part of your natural teeth. Even though the exact shading may be fof for the first month or so, it will eventually turn out the same color as the rest of your teeth, and it may be the case that even you will not be able to distinguish it from the rest of your natural teeth.

When Should I Not Get An Inlay?

If the tooth that it is being prescribe for is loose, or moving, you should tno get it on that tooth. If the tooth clearly needs a crown, and just the replacement of the cusps will not be enough, you should get a crown instead. If the hole is tiny, and can definitely be filled with a traditional filling, you should get that instead. If the gums around the tooth in question are swollen or otherwise may be infected you should first have the tooth cleaned out, and possibly root canaled before you can get an inlay.

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