Ceramic inlays and onlays
Ceramic inlays and onlays are ceramic fillings. They are particularly suitable for treating small and medium defects, where there is still enough enamel present. Modern zirconium ceramic inlays and onlays as used in the Dentaprime Dental Clinic do not just meet the highest demands for bite strength and durability, but also the requirements for aesthetics and compatibility.
The decision whether a tooth defect should be treated with a ceramic inlay or onlay depends on how much healthy tooth substance is still present, but the difference between ceramic inlays and onlays lies in the amount of tooth substance replaced. We refer to an onlay, when not only parts of the chewing and outer surface of the tooth are replaced, but also parts of the tooth cusp. In contrast, inlays are mainly surrounded by healthy enamel. If the chewing surface must be reconstructed, the inlay is described as a single surface inlay. However, if a second tooth outer surface is affect by a problem, a two or three-surface inlay will be used. If tooth restoration is ultimately required, not just over the tooth cusp, but into the neck of the tooth, a part crown may be fitted.
Please note: Unlike the depiction in the video, the treatment takes just one week, as Dentaprime has an internal technical dental laboratory and this allows much faster processing times.
Ceramic inlays and onlays – the benefits
Fundamentally, inlay fillings can be made from a range of materials. Gold was preferred for a long time, but now ceramic is more prevalent for high-quality inlays. The advantage of ceramic inlays and onlays is that there is virtually no colour difference compared with the rest of the tooth substance. This preserves the natural aesthetic appearance of the teeth. In addition, ceramic does not contain any metal which is harmful to the health, unlike a gold alloy. And ceramic inlays and onlays are now also better than those made of gold in terms of strength and durability. Numerous studies have shown that around 95% of ceramic inlays were still functioning perfectly after 20 years. This is due to the fact that ceramic inlays and onlays are bonded over the whole surface of the existing tooth substance, and also stabilise the whole tooth.
This is how ceramic inlays and onlays are made at Dentaprime Dental Clinic.
In contrast to conventional fillings, ceramic inlays and onlays are made outside the mouth. At Dentaprime Dental Clinic, we use the latest technology to do this. First, the defective tooth area is treated by the Dentaprime dentist. After preparation, the tooth is scanned using a CAD/CAM device, which produces a three-dimensional computer model of the tooth and the cavity. This model allows us to make the restoration, using a computer system – we use the latest Sirona Cerec system, which was developed in Germany. A milling machine processes the inlay or onlay blank from a zirconium block (full-ceramic), accurate to a few tenths of a millimetre. Using this modern process allows the preparation and fitting of the ceramic inlays and onlays in the same sitting. There is also no need for a temporary filling.
Before the ceramic inlays and onlays are finally fitted, our dental technicians give them the final polish. Then they are fitted by the dentist and attached using adhesive cement. This is then hardened under blue light.
Finally, a word on precautions. Even though ceramic is extremely strong and durable, regular, thorough dental hygiene is an absolute requirement for a long life of your ceramic inlays and onlays.