An inlay is a custom fabricated restoration made of composite, gold, or tooth-colored ceramic. Composite or ceramic inlays can be made during a single appointment using CEREC 3D technology or made by a professional dental laboratory.
Inlays can be utilized to conservatively repair teeth that have defective fillings or have been damaged by decay or cracks. Inlays are highly durable and an ideal alternative to conventional mercury metal (silver) and composite fillings. Also, they are more conservative than crowns (caps) because more tooth structure is preserved in their preparation.
Reasons for inlay restorations:
Broken or fractured teeth.
Fractured or cracked fillings.
Ideal replacement for defective mercury metal (silver) fillings.
What does getting an inlay involve?
While the tooth is numb, all old filling materials and decay is removed from the tooth. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared, shaping the surface to properly fit an inlay restoration.
When using CEREC 3D technology, an inlay procedure will require only one appointment. After tooth preparation, the tooth and surrounding structures will be scanned with a video camera wand. The inlay will be custom designed in 3D on a computer, milled and bonded into the tooth during the same appointment.
When using a dental laboratory, an inlay procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate impressions (molds) that will be used to create your custom inlay. A temporary filling will be applied to protect the tooth while your inlay is made by a dental laboratory technician.
At your second appointment, your new inlay will be carefully and precisely cemented into place. A few adjustments may be necessary to ensure a proper fit and that your bite is comfortable.
You will receive care instruction at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, a proper diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new inlay.