Laboratory-made fillings (restorations)

Laboratory-made fillings (restorations) are called inlays (onlays, overlays).

The name comes from the fact that they are made by a dental technician in a laboratory from an impression send by the dentist. They are the best and most durable restorations because they fully restore the size, shape, colour and the natural topography of the tooth. Inlays are recommended for teeth where caries has destroyed much of the healthy tooth tissue. In such teeth the ordinary composite or amalgam filling could not provide sufficient strength of the tooth and it requires placing of a crown in the future. The placing of a tooth crown can be avoided by the use of an inlay/onlay/overlay. Depending on the material from which the inlays are made, they can be – composite, ceramic, metal, or gold-ceramic.

Ceramic inlay / Golden inlay

Composite inlays are the cheapest, but have insufficient strength, wear out and change colour over time. The metal inlays possess the greatest strength, but their main drawback is that the colour is significantly different from the natural colour of teeth. Ceramic inlays are the best solution, they are strong enough, do not wear out and mimic the colour of teeth. Main disadvantages of the inlays are that they are more difficult to make and cost more. The making of an inlay is requires two visits to the dentist.

The first appointment includes removal of the old filling and drilling out the decay. The colour of the tooth filling and the material for the filling are determined and a silicone impression is taken for the tooth. The imprint is sent to the dental technician, and a temporary restoration is used.

In the laboratory, the dental technician makes an exact copy of the silicon impression and the production of the inlay begins. When the inlay is ready the patient is called for a second time to the dentist.

During the second visit, the temporary restoration is removed and the inlay is tested if it coincides precisely with the tooth. Minor adjustments are performed at this point if needed, which is followed by completion of the inlay restoration using special cements with high strength.

Inlay made by composite material / Ceramic inlay and onlay

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