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What are dental inlays?

What are dental inlays?

Dental incrustations are indirect bonded restorations that are made in the dental laboratory by a laboratory technician. These, being designed and made to measure, adapt perfectly to the prepared tooth and return the lost form and function to it.

Dental inlays have revolutionized the world of conservative dentistry. Because they are based on adhesion, between tooth and restoration, they allow us to be much more conservative and preserve a large amount of healthy dental tissue. In addition, this type of restorations allow us to improve the aesthetic and mechanical properties of the damaged tooth.

Depending on the extent of the existing defect, dental inlays can be classified into three types (inlay, onlay and overlay). Inlay type embedding does not reach any dental cusp, onlay type embedding reaches at least one dental cusp and overlay type embedding covers all cusps.

As these are indirect restorations, several appointments are required in the clinic. Generally, a first appointment is required where the tooth is prepared and, if possible, measures are taken in order to send it to the laboratory for making the inlay. Subsequently, after waiting for laboratory times, the patient can return to the clinic for final placement.

Today, inlays are usually made mainly of two materials, composite or ceramic. The composite is an elastic resinous material with a great capacity to absorb the masticatory forces. However, the composite suffers more wear and aesthetic properties are lower compared to ceramics.

Types of materials :

Composite inlays: This type of embedding is performed when polymerization shrinkage is already controlled and is used in restorations where the physical-mechanical properties of dental pieces can be greatly improved. It is a technique with better results compared to conventional polymerization techniques. The composite has a very high resistance to fractures, torsion, traction and compression and also wears less than other materials.
Gold inlays: This restorative procedure involves the placement and cementation of gold in the tooth. They are indicated for large cavities, the protection of molars and premolars with endodontics or increase the diameter and height of molars that do not reach the occlusal plane. This type of embedding is very solid and can last for a minimum of 20 years, although it is also more expensive. Several visits to the clinic are required because it is necessary to get very detailed impressions to send to the laboratory.
Zirconium inlays: This is a type of inlay that offers great naturalness because no type of metal is used for its manufacture. In this way, it provides a perfect aesthetic thanks to its integration with the color of the original tooth. The patient can select the tone that he wants so that it is as close as possible to the adjacent pieces and thus harmony is achieved throughout the denture. Since they have no metal, in case of excessive wear or dental fracture, it is very difficult for them to have to be replaced by dental crowns.