An inlay restoration, a filling consisting of composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain, is custom made by a professional dental laboratory and permanently cemented into the tooth by your dentist.
Inlays can be utilized to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or that have been damaged by decay or trauma. Inlays are an ideal alternative to conventional silver and composite fillings, and they are more conservative than crowns because less tooth structure is removed in their preparation.
Although highly durable and made to last many years, inlays--as with most dental restorations--are not always permanent and may someday require replacement.
Reasons for inlay restorations
What getting 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. A temporary filling will be applied to protect the tooth while your inlay is being made by a dental laboratory.
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 homecare instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, a proper diet, and regular dental visits will extend the longevity of the life of your new inlay.