Cavity is the most common dental disease in humans, and is responsible for most cases of tooth loss every year. One of the problems associated with cavities is the speed at which they spread, so regular check-ups at your dental clinic are recommended in order to diagnose the condition as early as possible. Thanks to NIRI cavity detection technology, at Vélez y Lozano we can even see cavities that form between the teeth. This is essential to locate cavities from the earliest stages and prevent them from reaching the nerve.
In the past, when a cavity caused part of the structure of a tooth to be lost, this meant having to reconstruct the tooth with the old silver fillings, if not extracting the whole tooth. Fortunately, this extreme measure is rarely taken nowadays, as dentistry has advanced enough to allow for much less radical solutions. Scientific advances then led to white composite fillings, a material that achieves more natural aesthetics and chewing, as well as allowing a greater amount of dental tissue to be preserved, as it does not require such aggressive preparation.
You're probably wondering...okay, but what’s an inlay? An inlay is necessary when a tooth requires protection greater than what a filling can provide, which is the case when the tooth has suffered extensive decay. The same happens when we have to reconstruct the dental pulp: a filling is insufficient in most cases and it is necessary to seek out an option that provides greater resistance and a better prognosis, for example a ceramic inlay.
How do ceramic inlays work?
Ceramic inlays are pieces that rehabilitate the missing area of the tooth after the cavity has been cleared. They can be made from different types of material, such as pure ceramic, ceramic with resin, ceramic with zirconium, pure resin, and more.
The traditional method involves taking a measurement and sending it to a prosthetics laboratory to be manufactured. The main drawback is that the patient has to come in to the clinic twice. That’s why Vélez y Lozano has a pioneering technology that is available at very few dental clinics. It is known as the CEREC MC XL system, and it allows us to fit an inlay in a single visit. In fact, we can restore decayed teeth with an inlay within a matter of minutes.
What is the procedure with this system?
First, the mouth is fully digitally scanned – without the need for the infamous 'putty' – and the restoration is designed in 3D.
The ceramic block is then milled to the exact shape of the tooth preparation using a state-of-the-art machine.
How will it improve the lifespan of your teeth?
- Quick and definitive solution to cavities.
- Follows the natural aesthetics of the tooth treated.
- Normal chewing.
- Greater protection for the tooth than a filling.
- Protection for teeth treated with a root canal.
- In many cases it prevents more aggressive filing, such as that involved in crowns.
- Better marginal adaptation.
- Greater resistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a solution for a broken tooth?
It all depends on the size of the fracture, although it is technically possible thanks to ceramic inlays.
When a tooth is broken, our main concern is whether it can be rebuilt. It all depends on the fracture. We know that in cases of large fractures or cavities, the best way to do this is with a ceramic inlay to protect it in the future.
Is anaesthesia necessary for a filling or inlay?
It all depends on the type of cavity or caries to be filled. A minimal amount of anaesthesia is usually used to prevent any discomfort for the patient.
When is a tooth considered to be healthy again?
The tooth is considered to be healthy again when the it is free of cavities and the new restoration fits properly.
Is an inlay the same as a crown?
No. A crown is a ceramic piece that covers the tooth 360º. This means it requires more aggressive filing, which leads to greater loss of tooth tissue. A crown would only be recommended over an inlay when the tooth is very badly deteriorated and the conditions for adhesion are greatly reduced.
What material is the inlay made of?
The inlay can be made of various materials: pure resin, pure ceramic, resin-ceramic hybrids or resin with zirconium.
Will the inlay look aesthetically natural?
When choosing the inlay block to be used, the colour of the patient's teeth is taken into account to ensure that it fully matches the colour of the patient's teeth. Furthermore, they can be adjusted to match the mouth even more accurately.