The next time you have a large cavity, you may want to consider getting an inlay. Inlays usually go between the pointed parts of a tooth (cusps) on the chewing surface, and are slightly bigger than a filling. Inlays are best used for bigger areas of decay in the back of the mouth, as those molars have a large chewing surface and get a lot of wear and tear. While large fillings can weaken a tooth, an inlay provides more structure and durability.
Pros of inlays
Dentists consider inlays to be the most durable kind of filling, lasting 20-30 years, which is a great option for anyone who wants to avoid more frequent replacements. In comparison, silver (amalgam) fillings need to be replaced every 10-15 years and composite resin fillings, while attractive, may need to be replaced every five to seven years. Additionally, choosing an inlay can offer a good alternative to a crown, which is more expensive and harder to clean.
Things to consider
If you choose an inlay, just keep in mind that they are more expensive than other fillings, as they’re made of a combination of gold, copper and other metals. Inlays also take more than one office visit to place, as they’re based on impressions of the tooth, and need to be manufactured at a laboratory.
Be sure to discuss all the options and pricing with Dr. Anthony Marra of Huntersville Cosmetic & Family Dentistry. He and his staff can help you decide which filling is right for you, based on your oral health. And remember, regular visits to our office can help decrease your odds of cavities and other dental issues, so be sure to schedule your cleanings, brush your teeth twice a day and floss.