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Dental Inlay vs Filling: What’s the Difference?

Do you have a cracked or damaged tooth that keeps coming back no matter how many times you try to fix it? Have you considered getting a dental filling?

Getting a dental issues is never pleasant. It’s one of the reasons you need to go for dental procedures. But if you’re not sure about which procedures should be done, it can get downright confusing.

Inlay and filling are two different dental techniques you can use to repair damaged teeth. Wondering which one is better for your damaged tooth? Read on for our take on the dental inlay vs filling differences. 

What Are Dental Inlays?

A dental inlay is an indirect restoration that is custom-made in a dental laboratory. They are often used to repair moderate damage or decay in teeth.

Inlays are typically made of durable materials such as porcelain, gold, or composite resin. Unlike fillings, inlays are created outside of the mouth and then bonded to the tooth during a second dental visit.

How Do Fillings Differ?

Dentists place dental fillings into the prepared cavity or hole in the tooth. They use materials such as composite resin, amalgam (a mixture of metals), or glass ionomer for fillings. 

Fillings offer the advantage of convenience as dentists can apply them during a single dental visit. This makes them a suitable option for smaller cavities or minor tooth damage.


Aesthetic Considerations

Another aspect to consider when choosing between inlays and fillings is their impact on the appearance of your smile. Inlays are widely known for their superior aesthetic qualities.

Porcelain inlays, in particular, can be color-matched to your natural teeth. This will create a seamless and natural-looking result. This makes inlays an excellent choice for restoring teeth in visible areas of the mouth.

Meanwhile, fillings are more noticeable. Tooth-colored composite resin fillings blend in well with the surrounding tooth structure. Amalgam fillings are silver in color and are more visible, especially on front teeth.

Material and Strength Comparison

One major difference between an inlay and a dental filling is the materials used. Inlays are often made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. These are often known for their strength and durability.

They are less likely to wear down over time, providing long-lasting restoration. Fillings, on the other hand, are commonly made of composite resin, amalgam, or glass ionomer.

While these materials are also durable, they may not be as strong as the ones used for inlays. Fillings are better suited for smaller restorations that don’t need extensive reinforcement. If you want to take a closer look into both, it’s best to see experts near you or the Dentists on Bloor.

Dental Inlay vs Filling: Choosing the Right Option

With good preventative oral care and early detection, a dental inlay or filling can help maintain the optimal health of your teeth. It is important to discuss with your dentist which option is right for you.

So, consult your dentist today to find the solution that works best for you! By doing so, you can figure out the main dental inlay vs filling differences and make an informed decision.

For other articles on dental health and more, check out the rest of our blog!

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