If a tooth has a cavity or an old and shrunk filling, it is of the utmost importance to restore its integrity and arrest further decay. The best way to do this is with a ceramic filling or gold inlay made either with sofisticated CAD/CAM procedures in the dental office itself or externally, in a dental laboratory. This restoration offers the highest sealing precision and margin fit combined with high pressure resistance and stability. This results in a considerable increase in the durability of the restorative treatment. Furthermore, ceramic inlays meet the highest aesthetic requirements, their appearance being almost identical to that of the natural tooth.


What is an inlay and how is it made?

An inlay is a cavity restoration, i.e. filling, made in a dental office  through sofisticated hi-tech CAD/CAM procedures or in an external dental laboratory. If the restoration involves premolar and molar cusps it is called an onlay. During the first appointment, the dentist prepares the cavity on the relevant tooth and takes a precise impression in a CAD/CAM procedure or coventional one if inlay is sent to a dental laboratory. This process involves several elaborate steps. The result is a filling with precise margin fit and excellent sealing properties, which makes the recurrence of caries highly improbable. Furthermore, the indirect way of creating an inlay makes it possible to create optimum contact points between the adjoining teeth. This facilitates dental hygiene and prevents gum irritation and/or inflammation.

In a separate session the custom-made inlay is bonded to the tooth and polished. The result is a perfect margin fit and a restoration that cannot be distinguished from the natural tooth.

What are the inlay materials and their properties?

An inlay restoration can be done with ceramic or a gold alloy.

Ceramic inlays represent the state of the art in cosmetic dentistry and meet all modern aesthetic requirements. They combine perfect aesthetics with optimum dental protection. The inlay bonding process stabilises the teeth and prevents chipping and brakeage. The hi-tech ceramic materials used for manufacturing inlays are highly biocompatible and durable.

Gold has been used in dentistry for thousands of years and represents a traditional inlay restoration. It combines perfect margin fit, hardness, convenient cleaning and high durability.

How durable are inlays?

The durability of the various materials used for dental restoration differs considerably.

International scientific studies show that of all presently used materials ceramic and gold are the most durable. The durability of an inlay depends on many factors:

  • Precise execution of steps necessary for the preparation and manufacture of the inlay by both the dentist and if applicable,  by dental technician
  • Position of the relevant teeth in the alignment
  • Configuration of the damage to be restored
  • Good dental hygiene at home
  • Regular check-ups at the dentist
  • Regular professional dental hygiene at the dentist
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