What to Do When an Inlay Falls Out ?

I know this is totally random, but do you know any place I can buy some adhesives to attach an metal inlay back to a tooth? The inlay is either Au-Ag-Pd alloy or nickel chrome alloy…

An inlay is a restoration made to fit the space in the tooth where a typical filling would occupy.  Sometimes inlays are chosen over fillings because they are stronger, and depending on the extent of the decay they may adapt to the tooth better than a filling.  An inlay can be made out of porcelain or a type of metal such as a gold alloy mix.

My answer to the patient’s question above was:

Temporary pastes are available at the drug store, but they do not work very well long term.

When an inlay falls out, it could be due to two possible causes:

1. There is decay underneath the inlay. If this is the case, cementing the inlay back will not work long term because the decay is soft and has moisture.

2. The bite force is causing the inlay to debond from the tooth structure. If this is true, then you will have problems with other teeth and not just this inlay.

I would recommend having it checked by a dentist as soon as you can to determine the best course of action. In the mean time, you should leave the inlay in the tooth so that the adjacent tooth will not move into the empty space.


Alex Nguyen, DDS is a Saratoga Dentist who practices General Dentistry, Cosmetic, and Implant Dentistry. For over 20 years the practice has been serving the residents of Santa Clara County and San Francisco Bay Area.

About alexnguyen

My career passion is to help enhance, restore, and preserve people's smiles View all posts by alexnguyen

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