Gold and Porcelain Inlays
Gold and Porcelain inlays are used in the treatment of cavities and tooth decay, just like fillings, but they are a less invasive procedure that preserves more of the original tooth. Ask Dr. Blackhurst to see if you are a good candidate for this procedure. If the affected area of the tooth lies within the cusps of the teeth, then there is a high likelihood the inlay procedure will work for you.
There are not only inlays, but onlays and overlays too. These different names refer to how much of the tooth the restorative dental material covers. Overlays cover the most area of the tooth and cover over the cusps. Onlays typically lie mostly in the middle groove of the molars but also extend a little ways onto the edges of the tooth as well. Finally, the inlay is just that, restorative material laid into the groove of the molar to protect it.
This procedure can be used to replace old or damaged fillings. Some patients have received filling made with the old dental amalgam material in the past, and would like a tooth-colored material for cosmetic reasons. The inlay is typically made out of porcelain or a composite resin, but sometimes gold is used too.
The process itself is fairly simple. Generally it will take two visits to complete. During the first visit, you’ll have an impression taken of the tooth which will then be sent off to the dental lab. This dental lab will take the time to construct the custom inlay to perfectly match your teeth so that there are no gaps or fit issues. When the inlay is ready, you’ll come back to the office for a quick and final appointment. The inlay will be bonded to the tooth and there is no downtime afterwards. You can expect a mild level of tenderness that will go away quickly.