What are Inlays?
Inlays are fillings which are made by the laboratory.
They are an extremely hard well-shaped restoration. The tooth is often prepared with less tissue loss than a crown would require.
Inlays can be made of porcelain, composite resin or gold. Their placement is similar to a crown procedure in that they require two separate appointments.
What are the disadvantages of Inlays?
As with a crown they are more expensive than a conventional filling, they take two appointments to do.
As they are cemented into the teeth, they sometimes become de-bonded (but can usually be re-cemented in).
What is the process for making an Inlay?
Visit one- the preparation.
Usual time 45 to 60 minutes
Anaesthetic will usually be applied.
The initial condition of the tooth will determine what happens first.
If the tooth is heavily broken down the dentist will remove all the old fillings and place a new one. If this filling is extremely large or deep the dentist may choose to leave the tooth for a period of time until it is certain that the nerve of the tooth will not die.
Assuming the dentist is happy to continue, the tooth will then be reduced to accommodate the inlay.
Impressions are then taken. An impression tray is loaded up with material and then placed in the mouth around the tooth until the material sets. This could take up to 5 minutes. It is very important that an accurate impression is taken and it can take several visits to achieve this.
When the dentist is happy with the impression a temporary inlay is made and cemented into the tooth.
This can be difficult. Often the dentist will ask you to go directly to the laboratory so they can decide what colour or colours should be used- you will be amazed at how many different colours of white there are and also how many different colours there are in a tooth!
Visit two –the fitting.
Usual time 30 minutes
Anaesthetic is usually applied.
The temporary veneer is removed and the new veneer is seated in the tooth.
You and the dentist will then decide if it acceptable to cement on.
• Is the appearance acceptable?
• Does it sit on the tooth correctly?
• Is the bite acceptable?
There are some minor adjustments which can be made at the chair side, however if you or the dentist are not happy then the inlay is not cemented. Instead the appropriate steps are taken which may require another impression being taken
Providing everyone is happy the inlay is then cemented on to the tooth.