Composite fillings are recommended after caries treatment, especially in the case of minor damage. It is a dental prosthesis consisting mainly of ceramics, which thus harmoniously blends in with the overall appearance of the teeth and also impresses with its great stability.
What is a ceramic inlay?
A ceramic inlay is a form of dental prosthesis that has the following special features due to its material: it resembles the natural tooth color, has a durability comparable to the natural tooth and is also very well tolerated. Until recently, this type of inlay always had to be prepared externally in the dental laboratory and required two sessions for final insertion. Nowadays, it is possible to prepare and insert the inlay during the first appointment (chairside) using new procedures.
Why and how is used?
In most cases, the reason for a ceramic inlay is caries in the occlusal area, i.e., the chewing surface of the tooth. During the first part of the treatment, the areas affected by caries are removed (excavation), after which the tooth is prepared for the inlay in several steps to preserve the tooth structure. The angles to be ground into the tooth must be precisely positioned, as they must guarantee perfect hold for the inlay and must be flush with the inlay. After the inlay is cemented in place, excess material is removed, in any case the generously applied adhesive and if necessary, material of the inlay itself is removed, should the natural bite be disturbed. The tooth is now firmly bonded to the inlay and is again as hard-wearing as before the damage.
Alternative materials and treatment methods as well as contraindications
Other materials can also be used as an alternative to ceramic inlays. These are usually gold or plastic. Where the first is characterized by its strong different color, but at the same time far healthier tooth material must be removed, plastic is less durable than ceramic or gold. In addition, plastic can sometimes cause hypersensitivity reactions, which does not occur in the case of the other two materials. Before any decisions are made here, it is important for us to have your advice and information in order to make the best choice for you. Alternatively, the classic dental filling, for example amalgam-based, is still used. The decisive difference here is, of course, the appearance. Whereas with a ceramic inlay your smile shines without restriction, the silver-grey of the amalgam, which is far less expensive, is clearly visible. An alternative is a composite filling, which is more expensive but matches the natural tooth color. Finally, an onlay is recommended. If the entire occlusal area of the tooth is damaged, especially the cusps, this prosthesis replaces not only a part of the occlusal area, but also the entire occlusal surface. Depending on the damage, the crown is recommended last.