Inlay restorations are custom filling that are composed of either tooth-colored porcelain, gold, or a composite material. Many patients choose porcelain inlays due to their ability to mimic the appearance of a natural tooth. At Empress Walk Dental, our porcelain inlays are created using sophisticated CEREC (CAD/CAM) technology and are then able to be cemented permanently into the tooth by one of our skilled dentists.
Just like many other dental restorations, porcelain inlays are not necessarily a permanent solution. They may need to be replaced one day. However, you can extend the life of your porcelain inlays by maintaining good oral hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, not smoking, and making sure to see your dentist for regular checkups. Patients who follow these guidelines should get many years of use out of their porcelain inlays, which will contribute to the patient having an attractive, long-lasting smile.
At Empress Walk Dental, we are typically able to install an inlay in a patient’s mouth in only one appointment due to our powerful CEREC technology. In instances where the inlay must be created in an off-site dental laboratory, the patient must return at a later date for second appointment to finish the inlay procedure.
When the procedure begins, the dentist will numb the tooth before taking any decay and/or materials left over from previous filling(s) out of the patient’s mouth. Then, the area will be prepared for the procedure by being cleaned and then shaped to be able to accommodate the inlay restoration. When CEREC technology is not available, the dentist will take several exceptionally accurate impressions of the patient’s teeth, which are necessary to fabricate the custom inlay as well as a temporary restoration. Then at this point insert a temporary filling as a placeholder until the inlay can be created by a dental laboratory.
In these cases, the followup appointment will consist of the dentist cementing the new porcelain inlay into its spot in the patient’s mouth. To make sure that the inlay fits comfortably into the mouth and that the patient can bite normally, the dentist may need to make a series of adjustments to the inlay.
Once the new inlay has been installed in the patient’s mouth, the dentist will give the patient careful instructions about how to care for the inlay during the healing process and throughout the life of the restoration. It is key that the patient not only listen to what the dentist has to say but also be prepared to follow the instructions as soon as they get home from the procedure.