An inlay restoration is a custom-made filling consisting of composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain. Porcelain inlays are popular because they resemble your natural tooth. Made by a professional dental laboratory, a porcelain inlay is permanently cemented into the tooth by your dentist.
Inlays are more conservative than crowns because less tooth structure is removed in their preparation. They are often utilized to repair large defective fillings or a tooth that has been damaged by decay or trauma. Inlays are also an ideal alternative to conventional silver and composite fillings.
As with most dental restorations, inlays are not always permanent and may someday require replacement. Nevertheless, they are highly durable and will give you a beautiful smile for many years.
Reasons for inlay restorations
What an inlay involves
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 and a temporary restoration.
While the tooth is numb, the dentist will remove any decay and/or old filling materials. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared, shaping the surface to properly fit an inlay restoration. A temporary filling will be applied to protect the tooth while a dental laboratory makes your inlay.
At your second appointment your new inlay will be precisely cemented into place. A few adjustments may be necessary to ensure a proper fit and comfortable bite.
You will receive instructions on how to care for your teeth at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, a proper diet, and regular dental visits will extend the longevity of your new inlay.