If you are someone who has had extensive dental work before, it is possible that you may eventually need ceramic inlays. Even though fillings are used to protect teeth when they are badly decayed, a filling does not guarantee that the tooth will be healthy again. Fillings can and often do deteriorate over time. This may be sped up by factors such as poor oral hygiene or even a dry mouth from medications. When your mouth is dry, this speeds up the growth and damage from the biofilm that accumulates daily. This is why people have an increased risk of periodontitis and other oral hygiene problems as they age.
1. What Are Ceramic Inlays?
Ceramic inlays are a lot like fillings but are specially molded to function like dentures or implants than a filling. The inlays are large custom-molded ceramic materials that are bonded to the tooth surface like a filling. However, they are a lot sturdier than fillings and will not crack and erode like a filling might. A ceramic inlay can even be manufactured in the dentists office in Mesa AZ if they have a 3D digital imaging equipment and their own CNC machine to cut and sculpt the inlays.
2. Does a Ceramic Inlay Require a Root Canal?
No. When a tooth is drilled down for a root canal, the remaining shell can be too fragile to hold an inlay. In fact, an inlay may be the last line of defense before you have cavities so massive that you need a root canal. A root canal is performed when the roots are infected from severe decay, and the tooth even changes color and becomes hypersensitive as a result.
3. How Long Does it the Procedure Take?
A ceramic inlay can be fitted in one session at the dentist’s office if they have the advanced tools to manufacture the inlays in-house. If they don’t have the specialized equipment, they may have to take a mold of your teeth and send it out to a lab. This can take weeks or days to complete, depending upon how backed up the lab may be.
The procedure to prepare the tooth for the inlay is not much different than preparing for a large filling. The tooth must be drilled down until only the hard material remains. Although a tooth may feel hard to the touch, it may actually be full of porous pockets of decay and much weaker than its original state. In fact, many patients will have inlays installed simply to get rid of old mercury fillings.