Dental inlays are similar to fillings, providing a solid replacement for parts of a tooth lost to decay or damage. However, inlays provide a more durable surface than fillings, making them particularly suitable to replace cavities in chewing surfaces on the back teeth and large areas on the front teeth.
Dental inlays are specially created for each individual tooth, and impressions of the tooth made of a mouldable material are used to create a bespoke dental inlay in the shape of the gap. Our dentists can also produce onlays, which are designed to sit on top of the tooth and build its shape. Both inlays and onlays provide an accurate restoration that is cemented into place to provide a much harder surface than normal filling material.
Just like fillings, inlays and onlays can come in different colours and materials. At Laffan Dental, amalgam fillings remain the least expensive, but composite fillings are often favoured as they provide a harder surface. It's also possible to use porcelain to achieve a completely natural look that's hard to distinguish from the original tooth.
This depends on your individual requirements and its best to discuss these with the dentist before you make a decision. Traditionally, chewing surfaces will require more durable inlays to fully protect the tooth underneath.
Dental inlays placed at the back of the mouth are unlikely to be spotted by others. However, if you're concerned, speak to your dentist about the possibility of having composite or porcelain inlays fitted, as these are designed to look more like a natural tooth.
The length of time a dental inlay will last vary from person to person depending on the type of material used and the care taken to keep the tooth healthy. However, in a healthy mouth, inlays can be expected to last up to 20 years or more.
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