Inlays - indirect filling
Inlays are a type of tooth restoration. They are often referred to as an "indirect special filling" and are used to repair a decayed or damaged tooth. They are produced in a dental laboratory after taking an impression of the prepared tooth. This impression will be used to make a mould that is then used to create the inlay. After that the inlay is bonded onto the dameged tooth and secured in place. They can be made of porcelain or gold, the former being the best from an aesthetic point of view.
Inlays are strong, long lasting, easy to clean and less prone to staining than normal fillings. Although an inlay might cost more than a composite filling it also offers longer durability. Its life span may amount to 8-12 years provided the patient maintains a good oral hygiene.
They are an excellent choice for patients with mild to moderate tooth decay. Inlays are regarded as a cautious approach to treating tooth decay with the aim of preserving as much tooth enamel as possible. They can also be used to replace big old silver amalgam fillings.
Highest durability: gold inlays
Gold is usually preferred over other materials because of its perfect fit into the tooth. There is no gap around it thus preventing the development of secondary caries.
Although they cannot get discoloured during their extremely long life span, they are rather expensive and their colour doesn't quite match that of the tooth. They can stand even the highest chewing pressure though.
Perfect aesthetics: porcelain inlays
Porcelain inlays are long lasting and offer perfect aesthetics along with lots of other advantages. According to their high compressive strength they are suitable to restore even decayed molars in most cases.
Since porcelain has very low thermal conductivity they do not cause heat sensitivity. Their colour can be carefully chosen by the patient. They can never get stained so not even an expert can tell them from natural teeth.