Where a tooth is no longer able to support a standard filling but a crown is not quite required, a gold or porcelain inlay can be a useful way to help restore strength and function.
An inlay is placed directly onto the surface of the tooth (they are normally used on the back teeth). Once you are used to it, it will feel comfortable and natural like your other teeth.
Compared to a standard filling, an inlay is more hard wearing. Due to their ability to withstand larger forces they are ideal for back teeth they exert more pressure when you chew.
While amalgam and composite fillings can shrink over time – resulting in fine cracks and gaps which weaken teeth – an inlay fits the tooth perfectly within the confines helping to protect it in the long-term. Often the need for further treatment can be avoided.
When properly maintained and looked after a gold inlay can last for up to 30 years.
Your inlay will be fitted over a couple of appointments. The first will involve the preparation of the tooth and the taking of impressions which will be used to make your inlay.
Once your inlay is received it will be checked for fit, bite and comfort and fixed in place with dental cement.
It may take a little while to adjust to your new inlay. While you adjust, stick with a softer diet to avoid causing any damage or pain.
Remember to brush teeth twice daily to protect it from tooth decay.