Ceramic Porcelain Inlay
Ceramic Porcelain Inlay
What is an Inlay?
Many patients do not like silver-grey fillings in their molar teeth anymore and today we have new materials like composites and ceramics which are white alternatives to the amalgam fillings used in the past. And there are two types of indirect fillings which are Inlay and Onlay. Inlays are recommended for the lesion that are small and only involves the chewing surface and the surface between the teeth. An inlay is more conservative than a crown because it requires less removal of tooth structure and an inlay can be made from composite resin, porcelain/ceramic, or gold. An onlay is similar to an inlay but is extended to cover the entire chewing surface, protecting cusps from fracture.
Why are Ceramic/ Porcelain inlays better?
As mentioned earlier many patients no longer prefer the grey fillings in their molar teeth and hence the ceramic and porcelain inlays. Ceramics have got very good aesthetic characteristics and can imitate the natural tooth substance very well. Sometimes even dentists have problems to distinguish a ceramic inlay from a natural tooth.
Long time evaluations of ten years time showed a very good durability of porcelain restorations which is similar to those of gold restorations. In general, ceramic inlays or onlays can replace old and damaged fillings or new carious lesions. However there has to be a certain amount of tooth substance left after removal of the old restoration or caries to provide enough stability for the ceramic restoration. This will ensure a long durability of the restoration.
For teeth showing large cavities restorations with ceramic inlays or onlays seem to be a better alternative compared to composite fillings.
For getting a posterior indirect ceramic restoration two sittings is better than direct restorations. After having prepared the teeth the dentist has to take impressions of the jaws at the first sitting and then the impression is sent to a dental technician with detailed information about the individual color of the teeth.This enables the technician to manufacture a restoration in a color which is exactly the same like that of the original tooth. At your second sitting the ceramic inlay or onlay is adhesively placed with a special method in which a heat fused porcelain inlay formed directly in a cavity in a patient's mouth and method for making same comprising a mixture of porcelain and a binding agent, preferably a resin. The mixture is placed in the cavity and cured therein. And again the cured mixture is used to heat fuse the porcelain and burn off at least a portion of the binding agent resulting in a ceramic core. Corrective layers of the mixture may be added to the ceramic core with subsequent curing and heat-fusing. The luting procedure of ceramic restorations takes a little more time than that of gold restorations.