Dental Inlays

Dental Inlays are a common dental restoration procedure our top Chicago dentists use when you have a damaged or decayed tooth that may need more than just a filling.

At ABC Dental we normally use composite fillings for restoring damaged, decayed, or chipped teeth. However, in some situations, direct fillings are not suitable. In these cases, one of our top Chicago dentists may recommend using an indirect restoration.  Indirect dental restorations are laboratory produced solid pieces of composite, gold or porcelain that are shaped to fit into the damaged area of the tooth.

What are dental inlays?

A dental inlay is an indirect restoration that is used to reinforce and restore a damaged tooth that cannot be restored with direct fillings. Direct restorations such as fillings are made from composite resins or silver amalgam, used for smaller cavities, and done in a single visit.  Dental inlays are an indirect restoration. We make a mold of your tooth and the area that needs repair, send it to a lab, and when we get the solid customized piece back, we cement it into place.  

Dental inlays are prepared from tooth-colored ceramics, composites, porcelain, and even gold.   They are a solid piece that is shaped to fit into the biting surface between the cusps. It’s bonded into the damaged area replacing a section of your tooth.

As a result, dental inlays not only provide strength to the teeth, but they also restore their aesthetics. 

When are dental inlays used?

At ABC Dental our top Chicago dentists may recommend dental inlays in cases where a tooth is so damaged that a direct filling may not be suitable, but the tooth is not so damaged that it warrants a crown.  If there is damage to the cusps on your teeth, the dentist may recommend a dental onlay.

This is because when a badly damaged tooth is restored, there is insufficient healthy tooth structure remaining to support it. In this case, there is a chance that the tooth may fracture under its own weight so it requires a stronger material and replacement.   So we use dental inlays, onlays, and crowns in this case.

In more severe cases, we may also use a dental crown to restore such a tooth; however,  dental crowns require a root canal and extensive removal of the healthy tissues. Since the dental inlays require only minimal tooth preparation, our top Chicago dentists use them in certain situations to preserve healthy tooth structure. 

How are dental inlays prepared?

Getting dental inlays is similar to getting other indirect restorations; the crowns and the bridges. Here’s what you can expect during the process:

  • Tooth Preparation – first, we will prepare the tooth by removing the damaged tooth portion. Normally, this procedure does not require the need for a local anesthetic. But if the cavity is too deep and may cause pain or discomfort during preparation, we will administer local anesthesia to make sure that you remain pain free and comfortable during the procedure. 
  • Making Tooth Impressions – after we’ve removed the unhealthy tissue, we will make impressions of your teeth and send them to the dental laboratory for fabrication. We will also send information regarding the desired color and shade of inlays so that they match exactly with your adjacent natural teeth. 
  • Attaching the Dental Inlays – At your next appointment, we will insert the prepared inlay on the tooth to check its fit and aesthetics. Once we have a good fit and you’re satisfied with how it feels and looks, we’ll attach it permanently to the tooth by using an adhesive. 

What are the benefits of dental inlays?

In comparison to the direct composite fillings, dental inlays offer the following benefits:

  • Dental Inlays are Stronger and More Durable – since the dental inlays are prepared in the dental laboratory under controlled conditions, they do not contain structural defects that weaken the restoration. As a result, they possess superior strength and durability in comparison to the direct fillings.
  • Dental Inlays have Improved Esthetics – at the dental laboratory, the dental technicians are able to precisely match the shade and color of  your teeth. Not only this, but the inlays are also more resistant to getting stained in comparison to direct fillings. Therefore, they offer superior esthetics than direct fillings. 

Not every patient needs dental inlays for tooth restoration. When you visit us for a consultation at ABC Dental our top Chicago dentists will perform a clinical examination and guide you regarding the best restorative option that suits your dental needs and offers the best esthetic results. 

Visit us today and let us take care of your smile and your teeth.  Call 773-481-2200 to schedule or you can book online.