Dental cavities are the worst. They are nasty looking, painful, and are basically a burn on the surface if your teeth, a burn caused by the corrosive activities of bacteria in the mouth. To remedy these surface problems and infestations, dental fillings are used. But what if a tooth is too far gone? In this case, a special filling called an inlay, which is essentially a small piece of a dental crown, is used. Inlays are significantly more expensive than dental fillings, so it is good to know if you will need to drop any cash on them, especially if you are running on a tight budget. Here are some questions to ask yourself that will help you determine what you will need.
Filling or inlay — how big is the cavity?
Dental fillings come in three sizes: small, medium and large, but sometimes, even the largest dental filling doesn’t make sense, and an inlay must be used. The size of the cavity is the number one factor in what you will need to rehabilitate your tooth. Is the decay covering more than 25% of the tooth surface it is on? If so, then you may need an inlay, and should prepare to get one. If the hole is so big that the filling may fall out of it, then you will need an inlay.
Filling or inlay — where on the tooth is the decay located?
Is the decay on the top of the tooth, or the side of the tooth? Is it facing the tongue or the cheek? If the decay is located on the top of the tooth, and has reached more than one cusp, or has destroyed a cusp or two, then you will definitely need an inlay. If the decay is on the side of the tooth or near the gums, then you will probably need fillings, even if the decay is quite extensive, although not in every case. If the hole is in a position that would make it difficult for the inlay not to fall out, then even a relatively big hole will be filled up with a dental filling.
Make sure to talk to your dentist and ask them what solutions they have to the dental decay you are experiencing. Although filling the cavity and getting rid of the infection is very important, it is only a slice of the problem, as stopping the problem from recurring is just as important.