Inlays vs. Fillings: Differences Explained

Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent problems facing a person’s smile health. Cavities can occur for multiple reasons. When a tooth becomes decayed, seeking prompt treatment is essential. Learning about the differences between inlays and fillings will allow people to choose wisely for their oral health needs. 



What Are the Common Causes of Tooth Decay?

When someone experiences tooth decay, they need to seek Good Dentists In My Area. These medical professionals offer a range of services and will take care of all decayed teeth quickly and effectively. The following are some of the common reasons for tooth decay development. 

  • A lack of oral care is one of the most common reasons for tooth decay development. When people do not brush and floss at home, their teeth are more likely to decay. People need to brush and floss at least twice a day for the best results. 
  • People also develop cavities because they do not go to the dentist as often as they should. Although a person may brush and floss regularly, certain areas of the teeth they may miss. These areas are vulnerable to cavity development.
  • Regrettably, some people have a genetic predisposition to cavity development. For these people, regular dental treatments are integral for protecting their teeth and treating any minor cavities before they become major oral health concerns. 



Prompt Cavity Treatment Becomes Essential

Treatment involves removing the decayed portions of the tooth and filling it with some type of material. There are both traditional fillings and inlays, depending on a person’s needs for treatment and their desired outcome. 



What Is a Dental Inlay?

Dentists use dental inlays to treat cavities in molars. Inlays are ideal for repairing teeth that still have healthy tissue. A dentist will have a patient come in for two appointments to complete their inlay installation. 

First, the dentist makes an impression of the patient’s tooth. Next, the impressions are sent to a dental lab where professionals custom make an inlay for the patient. The second appointment involves the placement of the inlay, which is made of a metal base and porcelain. 



What Is the Difference Between Inlays and Fillings?

One of the most significant differences between inlays and fillings is that fillings are easily approached. Dentists already have the materials available in their offices, so fillings offer a faster solution for those needing immediate treatment for a cavity. 

Inlays typically last longer. Because inlays are custom made for patients, they do not expand and contract like some filling materials. Amalgam fillings, for instance, expand and contract with temperature changes, which can cause teeth to crack. 



Which One Is Right For Your Teeth?

When cavities strike, a person needs to see the dentist right away. Cavities become destructive and can eventually lead to tooth loss. By removing the decayed areas, a dentist can stop the progression of damage. Unfortunately, removing these areas leaves openings that must be dealt with quickly so a patient feels no nerve discomfort. 

Both fillings and inlays solve the problem of strengthening the tooth and eliminating any openings that allow nerve pain. Fillings are available for almost all teeth, while inlays are reserved for the back teeth. 

Inlays last longer and are more durable, but they are also time-consuming and more expensive. Individuals who need cavity repair should schedule an appointment with the dentist to learn more. 


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