An inlay is a filling that is custom-made in a dental laboratory and permanently cemented into your tooth by your dentist.
Inlays are used to repair teeth with extensive fillings or teeth that have been significantly damaged by caries or trauma. This type of dental restoration is more conservative than full crowns as less tooth structure is removed in the process.
The main advantage of porcelain/composite inlays is that they are durable, much more so than composite fillings. Furthermore, both inlays and onlays strengthen teeth, which is not the case with amalgam and composite fillings.
The inlay making process
Two visits at the dentist’s are usually needed to make an inlay.
The dentist must remove all traces of caries or old fillings from the tooth, and then thoroughly clean it and finalise its shape. An impression of the prepared tooth is made. At the end of the first visit, you will receive a temporary protective filling.
During the second visit, the dentist checks whether the inlay can be inserted properly and then permanently cements it onto the tooth. They also make sure that the inlay is properly aligned with other teeth.
When is an inlay/onlay a suitable solution?
An inlay/onlay is a good solution when the tooth in question has extensive caries, a cracked filling or a filling of considerable size, or simply for aesthetic reasons.
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