A cavity is a serious issue that can have a significant impact on the health and the structural integrity of the affected tooth. Most cavities can be easily fixed with an amalgam or composite resin filling. While these treatments are effective in most cases, there are certain situations in which they can put your tooth at greater risk for harm rather than restoring it. At Rockville Centre Dentistry, we use inlays, as well as onlays, for treating more difficult cavities. One of these options is gold inlays.
What is an Inlay?
An inlay is a type of indirect filling that is used to treat a cavity on the chewing surface of a molar. This particular filling is used when the cavity is in the center of the chewing surface, in the grooves between the cusp. An indirect filing is one that is created outside of the tooth in our dental lab and is then bonded into place inside the cavity. Inlays can be made from some different materials, including gold.
Why Use Gold?
While gold is a visible material that stands out against the natural color of your teeth, it does provide several significant benefits. One of the major benefits of gold is that it is an incredibly strong material. It can stand up to a substantial amount of chewing pressure, making it ideal for placement in the chewing surfaces of your molars, where pressures are naturally greater. It is practically indestructible.
Another reason for the use of gold is that it is a very safe material. Gold is a noble metal. It will never corrode in your mouth and will maintain its composition, even with the harsh environment that your mouth presence.
How Long Does Gold Last?
Because gold is so strong, it has a very long lifespan, longer than any other option available for inlays today. On average, gold inlays last 20 to 30 years, but in many cases, they can last 40 years or more.
How are Gold Inlays Placed?
Getting your gold inlay is a process that requires two separate appointments. At your first appointment, we prepare the cavity, a process that is not unlike preparing a cavity for a traditional filling. First, the tooth is cleaned, and the decay is drilled away from the cavity. This process is typically done under a local anesthetic, which helps to avoid any discomfort. After the cavity is prepared, an impression of the tooth is taken. This impression is then sent to our dental lab. A temporary filling is placed in the cavity to protect your tooth while you wait until your next appointment.
It can take up to two weeks for your gold inlay to be completed. Once it has been sent back you return for your second appointment. The temporary filling is removed, and your inlay is checked for fit and a natural bite. If no adjustments are required, the inlay is bonded into place inside the cavity.
With gold inlays, we are able to help remove cavities on the chewing surfaces of your teeth, restoring their health and their strength. Not only that, but with gold, we are able to provide you with an incredibly strong restoration that will last many years. For more information on gold inlays, and if they are the right option for you, call Rockville Centre Dentistry today at (516) 678-0100.