Porcelain Inlays – Can They Last for Decades?
Porcelain inlays are a customized teeth restoration made of gold or composite material. What makes them popular is that they resemble that of your natural teeth. They are cemented permanently into your tooth.
Another advantage of them over a dental crown is that they require less tooth structure removal to protect the tooth. This is the reason they are considered as a conservative way to repair teeth with large defective fillings. They can also be used to repair damaged teeth caused by decay or trauma.
Oftentimes, porcelain inlays are attractive options for those who want to replace their unsightly fillings made of metal.
Because inlays can be a great solution to cover bigger areas of decay, they are often applied in teeth found at the back of your mouth. Compared with fillings, inlays are stronger. Thus, they are also used in molars with larger chewing surface. Because of their strength, they can last up to three decades, depending on how you take care of them.
Apart from that, inlays are also easier to clean and less expensive than dental crowns.
How Long Do They Last?
These options can last for years or even decades. But their lifespan will depend on various factors. One of the factors that may affect their longevity is the material being used. The actual tooth that the inlays are applied to can determine of how long they are going to last.
After the porcelain inlays are fixed, you must take care of them as proper maintenance will help make them as long as possible.
That said, you must avoid chewing on hard foods as they can damage the inlays.
It is also a must that you practice excellent oral hygiene.
Then, visit your dentist as often as possible to make sure that your inlays are still intact. And if they are damaged, they can be easily repaired.
You should also stop smoking and limit your coffee and tea intake as they can affect the longevity and health of your inlays.
How Inlays are Applied
The overall process of fixing porcelain inlays may need one or more dental appointments, depending on your case. We will need to make sure that the inlays are molded perfectly to your individual teeth.
During your first appointment, we will remove an area of your damaged tooth. The remaining part of that tooth will be carefully molded to make sure that the inlay is properly fitted.
Dr. Hildebrandt will put a “gum” in your mouth to be used to mold your tooth shape and your bite. The mold will be an exact replica of your mouth. That way, the laboratory technician can perfectly create the inlays.
On your next appointment, the inlays are positioned to the right place. If you like the color and fit, your dentist will permanently bind the inlays on your teeth. Before you leave your dentist’s clinic, your inlays are polished first so that you will finally have that brighter, shinier smile.
What are the Benefits of Porcelain Inlays?
There are many positive points in choosing porcelain inlays. As mentioned earlier, they are useful in treating tooth decay and maintaining your tooth structure. Since they mimic your natural teeth color, they become invisible. It is as if you do not have them in your mouth.
Unlike fillings, they do not change in shape and size even if they are subjected to temperature changes.
Then, there is the fact that more of your remaining tooth is maintained making it more appealing to those who wish to maintain the structure of their teeth.
Some people think that porcelain inlays would hurt once they are applied to their teeth. But it is really not. Your dentist will apply a local anesthesia so that it will not hurt when he/she shapes your tooth.
After the tooth shaping, you will not feel any pain. However, in some rare cases, residual pain does occur. But the pain is dull. If it is a throbbing pain, you may use an OTC painkiller, like ibuprofen.
Are There Potential Risks Related to Inlays?
There are no risks involved during the application of porcelain inlays. The risks will only arise if you are allergic to the local anesthesia that your dentist used.
Overall, porcelain inlays are great options to restore decayed or damaged teeth.