Recent advances in dentistry allow for stronger and better tooth repairs that last longer, feel better, and look invisible. Even your run-of-the-mill fillings have changed! These days, composite fillings are crafted to match the shade of your tooth exactly, so they’re indistinguishable from the rest of your teeth. Now, fillings fall into the realm of cosmetic dentistry because they can improve the appearance of your teeth.
Inlays have also changed and adapted. These porcelain inserts are made to match the exact size and shape of the hole and are bonded to the tooth with ceramic or composite resin for a smoother, stronger fit. This doesn’t necessarily make them better than a filling, but it does make them more suitable for more significant dental problems.
Inlays Are More Suitable for Mid-Sized to Larger Cavities
The purpose of filling a cavity is to not only protect the tooth from further decay but to restore the strength and stability of the tooth now that it has a structural problem. Composite fillings create a strong bond that seals and insulates it from bacteria. Because of its protective capabilities, it is often reserved for smaller cavities.
In general, these procedures must result in a seamless fit. If there are any gaps or imperfections, bacteria can get in and cause further decay in the tooth. This is where inlays shine. Inlays can more perfectly fit large holes, chips, and cracks as long as the issues don’t extend to the dental cusp (the round bumps on your teeth).
Onlays Are The Next Best Step for Cavities on the Cusps of the Teeth
Just as inlays are more suitable for mid-sized cavities, onlays are more suitable for cavities that extend to the cusps of the teeth. These are also 3D printed to match the exact shape of your tooth. As opposed to laying on and being bonded with the center of the tooth, onlays bond to the curvy cusps like a partial crown.
Because the coverage is more widespread, they are often reserved for larger dental issues that need more support and protection to adequately recover.
Inlays Do Last Longer Than Fillings
Composite fillings, when well taken care of, can last around 8 years before needing to be replaced. Inlays can last even longer. With good dental hygiene and no risky eating or biting behaviors, an inlay can last between 10 and 30 years.
Because inlays cover more surface area, the wear and tear can be more evenly distributed. They also do more to actively reinforce the strength of the tooth than a filling, even a composite one. This helps to protect your tooth from cracks, chips, and breaks.
Choose Sapphire Creek for Your New Braunfels Cosmetic Dentist
Whether you need a filling, inlay, onlay, or crown, Sapphire Creek can invisibly repair your damaged teeth to make them stronger and more resilient. Not only can we help you feel more confident in your smile, but we can also support your dental and oral health with individualized care and attention.
Call 830-202-6035 or fill out our contact form to schedule your appointment.