A ceramic inlay/onlay allows for the restoration of a damaged tooth substance with a ceramic material, manufactured in the laboratory by the dental technician, with the help of CAD/CAM technology. The dentist will perform the tooth preparation and after the ceramic inlay/onlay is created, it will be glued onto the tooth defect, creating a permanent bond.
Ceramic inlays can be described as a high-quality, long-term option. They provide an aesthetically perfect restoration.
After the caries and/or old fillings have been thoroughly removed, an impression of the tooth is taken. The impression is sent to the dental technician, who will shape the inlay out of an industrially manufactured ceramic block. This way, a maximally aesthetic, functional and extremely precise restoration of the missing tooth substance is obtained.
After checking the fit of the ceramic inlay, a very complex cementing process follows. To do this, the tooth that undergoes treatment is completely isolated from saliva with a dental dam (rubber dam). Then chemical surface roughening is performed on both the tooth surface and the surface of the inlay and composite is layered onto them. The plastic adhesive is then applied to the connection points and the inlay inserted into the exact position. Ideally, after the light-induced curing of the adhesive, the excess adhesive is removed, in order to ensure that there is no gap in between the tooth and the restoration.
There are no specific risks regarding this type of restoration. Almost every dental procedure presupposes certain general risks, such as the possible irritation of the tooth nerve, when treating deep tooth decay. At worst, root canal treatment may be necessary.
In terms of functionality and durability, a restoration with gold can be deemed equal. The gold alternative becomes necessary in the case of damage that goes very deep under the gums. However, this is rarely the case.
A pure plastic filling can provide similar long-term results in the case of minimal tooth damage. But this is very much dependent on the load applied on contacting teeth.