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Durable tooth repair and natural-looking Porcelain Inlays

We practice conservative, precision dentistry at Abel, Phan, & Associates in Potomac Falls and Sterling, Virginia. This approach to dentistry preserves maximum healthy tooth structure, and conventional dental procedures generally support a comfortable, efficient, gentle, affordable, and non-invasive treatment experience. Porcelain inlays represent a conservative alternative to full-coverage crowns. Inlays are also alternatives to large fillings for those patients who have more extensive damage and require more coverage than a typical filling. 

The inlays difference 

As its name suggests, fillings “fill in” cavities or holes created by the decay process. Dental material is shaped, placed, and secured within the cavity to rebuild the damaged portion of the tooth. Likewise, a composite resin may be placed directly to the damaged area and hardened to become a seamless part of the natural surrounding tooth. 

Inlays are dental materials shaped to replace damaged tooth structures within the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Alternately, onlays rebuild damaged chewing surfaces and at least one point or cusp of the tooth. So, the latter type of restoration is an appropriate option for patients with more extensive decay. Onlays are also known as “partial crowns.” A step up from both inlays and onlays is full-coverage crowns. Dental crowns restore the visible part of the tooth above the gum line. They often follow root canal therapy to resolve deep or severe decay or damage to the pulp tissue at the center of the teeth.

What to expect from inlays

All treatments and services at our office start with an exam. Generally, Drs Anna Abel and Chuong Phan will recommend inlays if you have a worn or large filling vulnerable to breakage and infection. Additionally, decay and other trauma to the tooth may be too extensive for the tooth to be sufficiently restored with modifications to oral hygiene or dental fillings. In these and other cases, inlays can restore the strength and lasting functionality, and appearance of your tooth. 

The natural tooth is “prepared” for the inlay. Any damaged tissue is removed. All of this preparation is done when your teeth are numbed. So, you don’t feel anything. We can discuss other calming options, as needed, to assure your utmost comfort and a pleasant experience at our practice. Generally, the more conservative the procedure, the better patients tolerate treatment. Traditional and gentle treatments also support speedy, uneventful healing and minimal risks of side effects. The less we have to alter the tooth structure, the more natural the tooth’s feel, appearance, and function. The prepared tooth is protected with a temporary restoration while our skilled lab partner makes your inlay. Once the inlay is ready to be placed, we’ll remove the temporary, adjust the inlay (as required), and secure it to the tooth during a second appointment. 

We look forward to discussing your options for tooth restoration! Call our team at Abel, Phan, & Associates, DDS, in Potomac Falls, VA, at (571) 450-9848 to schedule your appointment.