Inlays are a conservative solution for moderately damaged teeth.

Dental inlays are restorations that repair teeth that need more than a filling, but do not require a dental crown, to recover the aesthetics, shape and full function of the inlays are used mainly in molars that have suffered a deterioration at the surface level by mild or moderate caries, small fractures, or wear.

When the tooth structure has suffered severe damage that makes it impossible to place an inlay, the dentist will opt for the placement of a dental crown..

Crowns are caps that mimic the anatomy of the tooth and cover the entire damaged tooth. For its placement, it is necessary to mill the dental tissue.

Advantages of dental inlays:

Dental inlays have several advantages when restoring a tooth or molar.

  • There is less grinding of the tooth than with crowns, so more healthy tooth structure is preserved,
  • There is less risk of drilling or fracturing the root of the tooth, as can happen with endodontics.
  • Chewing strength and full functionality of the molar or tooth is restored.

Dental inlays, along with tooth and tooth fillings, are one of the most common conservative dentistry treatments, made of ceramic, can be used when there is extensive tooth destruction, caused, for example, by caries or trauma.

In general, they can be performed on most teeth, except when:

  • The tooth in question has undergone previous restorations.
  • When it has an anomalous shape.
  • When the tooth acts as a retainer for a fixed prosthesis.
  • When the tooth acts as a retainer for a fixed prosthesis.
  • When the tooth has an anomalous shape.

When the tooth has an anomalous shape.

Types of dental inlays

We can differentiate 3 types of dental inlays:

  • Inlay Inlay: it is the simplest inlay, since the upper part of the tooth or crown does not need to be repaired.
  • Onlay Inlay: it is used to restore the functional cusp of the tooth with which we generally chew.
  • Overlay Inlay: is used to restore and cover the entire cusp or crown of the tooth.

Today, various metal alloys, composite resins and reinforced ceramics are used for dental inlays. In addition, adhesive cementation techniques, which are key to the durability of inlays, have been greatly improved.

All this has allowed not only to achieve better esthetic results in this type of dental restorations, but also to improve their durability.

Although it is not possible to state with certainty how long a dental inlay can last, it can remain in good condition between 5 and 25 years, if basic hygiene standards are maintained to avoid the appearance of caries or breakage that weakens them.