Q: What is an inlay?
A: An inlay is a filling for a tooth that is made outside the mouth and then cemented into place.  In some situations this is preferable to a directly placed filling because it offers added strength and durability.  Perhaps the best known of the inlays is a cast-gold inlay that has a time honored role in tooth restoration. Inlays can also be made from porcelain, which will be more natural looking than a gold inlay. 
Gold makes for a very strong inlay, sometimes lasting as long as 50+ years, however it is also necessary to make sure that you visit Chips Dental Associates regularly to maintain your inlay.  Porcelain inlays are made through a similar process to gold inlays, however they are made with ceramic material.  Both Gold and Porcelain inlays are made in a laboratory from a custom mold that was provided from the Drs. Chips.  These are fabricated in the laboratory to a high degree of accuracy so that the restoration will be free of leaks and has the best chance possible of lasting you a long time.  The indirect process makes it possible to make a more durable restoration and with modern dental materials and laboratory techniques the fit and retention will be superior to simple fillings. 
Inlays are stronger and tend to last longer than a simple filling, however they will be a more expensive option to restore your teeth.  Regardless of your choice, without regular dental care and exams, no restoration can be expected to last long.  If you have a tooth that is in need of restoration, speak with the Drs. Chips at your next dental visit about which option is best for you.
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