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Dental inlays offer the perfect repair for teeth that fall into the gray area between requiring a simple filling and needing a full crown. At Smiles by Seese in Davidson, we often recommend inlays as the in-between answer for treating tooth damage that is too extensive for a filling but not severe enough to necessitate a full crown. This blog explores the benefits and applications of dental inlays, highlighting why they might be the most suitable option for your dental repair needs.

Understanding Dental Inlays

A dental inlay is a pre-molded restoration piece, typically made from porcelain, composite resin, or gold, that fits inside the grooves and cusps of a tooth’s biting surface. Unlike fillings that are directly applied and shaped within the cavity, inlays are custom-fabricated in a dental lab before being securely bonded to the tooth. This process ensures a precise fit and restores the tooth to its near-original condition.

The Ideal Candidates for Inlays

Inlays are an excellent solution for teeth with decay or damage lying within their indented top surfaces. They are particularly suited for situations where:

  1. The decay or damage is too extensive for a traditional filling to repair effectively. Fillings, while useful for minor cavities, may not provide the necessary support for larger areas of decay and can weaken the remaining tooth structure.
  2. The tooth does not require a full crown. In cases where the tooth’s overall structure remains largely intact and only a part of the tooth’s biting surface is affected, a full crown may be unnecessarily invasive.
  3. The patient desires a more natural and aesthetically pleasing outcome. Inlays are tailor-made to match the tooth’s color and natural shape, blending seamlessly with the surrounding teeth.

Advantages of Dental Inlays

Choosing an inlay comes with several benefits, including:

  • Durability and Strength: Inlays are made from robust materials that withstand biting forces better than standard fillings, making them a durable solution for tooth restoration.
  • Preservation of Tooth Structure: Unlike crowns, which require significant reshaping of the entire tooth, inlays conserve more of the natural tooth material.
  • Improved Fit and Hygiene: Custom-fitted inlays minimize the risk of bacteria buildup between the restoration and the natural tooth, promoting better oral hygiene.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: The materials used in inlays closely mimic the look and feel of natural teeth, offering a cosmetically pleasing result.
  • Longevity: With proper care, inlays can last for many years, often longer than traditional fillings, making them a cost-effective solution in the long run.

The Inlay Procedure

The process of getting an inlay typically involves two visits to Smiles by Seese. During the first visit, the decayed or damaged area is cleaned, and an impression of the tooth is taken, which is then sent to a dental lab to fabricate the inlay. A temporary filling may be placed to protect the tooth while the inlay is being made. On the second visit, the temporary filling is removed, and the inlay is bonded to the tooth with strong adhesive material, then polished for a smooth finish.

Making the Right Choice for Your Smile in Davidson

If you’re experiencing tooth decay or damage and unsure about the right course of treatment, consulting with our dental team at Smiles by Seese in Davidson can help determine if an inlay is suitable for you. We are dedicated to providing personalized care and will guide you through the best options to restore the health and beauty of your smile.

In conclusion, dental inlays represent a middle-ground solution that offers durability, aesthetic appeal, and tooth preservation. They address the limitations of fillings and avoid the invasiveness of full crowns, making them an excellent choice for specific dental repair needs.

Posted on behalf of Smiles By Seese

610 Jetton St. Suite 250
Davidson, NC 28036

Phone: (704) 895-5095


Monday (once/month): 8AM – 5PM
Tuesday - Thursday: 8AM – 5PM
Friday: 8AM – 3PM

Your comfort is our priority

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Our Patients Testimonials

Susan H.

Always a smile I think Dr. Seese and his staff are just great. They are a great combination of professional experience and genuine concern for their patient.

Amy M.

Efficient and Friendly I was in for a six-month checkup and cleaning. The staff and the dentist are friendly, on time, and efficient. They handle insurance filing, and they send reminders. The location is convenient, and the office is pleasant and clean. Perfect!

Peggy D.

A sense of comfort when visiting a Dentist's office! Always a great experience due to their friendly, warm professional service.

Carter H.

Always a fun time Brian, Courtney, Donna, and Karen are a great team. I get good care and great friendship there! Highly recommend this dedicated practice.