Dental tissues lost as a result of a large carious cavity, preparing a tooth for root canal treatment or mechanically breaking the crown of the tooth require restoration and strengthening with the use of a crown-root inlay before fitting a crown or a bridge.
Crown-root inlays are most often made of alloys of metals commonly used in dentistry and prosthetics. Common metal and gold alloys are most popular. One of the latest solutions are inlays made of composite or zirconia, which, owing to their tooth-like colour, make it possible to obtain translucency identical to natural teeth.
Crown-root inlays can be divided into standard and individual. Both have their indications and contraindications, as well as advantages and disadvantages. The dentist will choose which inlay is best for the patient.
Standard crown-root inlays are used:
- when a sufficient amount of tooth foundation is preserved,
- when there is a need for immediate reconstruction of the crown of a broken tooth,
A separate group of standard inlays are inlays made of glass fibre settled on appropriate composite material. Their advantage is their flexibility module, which is very similar that of the dentine. As a result, teeth strengthened with the use of glass fibre inlays are less prone to cracking and breaking. Another advantage is the colour of the tooth foundation reconstructed on the basis of a glass fibre inlay, as well as the fact that light can permeate this reconstruction similarly to the way it permeates a natural tooth. If we add to this an all-ceramic crown that contains no metal, we end up with a reconstruction that lets all the light through and behaves just like the adjacent natural teeth, regardless of the light conditions.
Unlike standard crown-root inlays, individual inlays are custom-made to fit the remainder of the tooth root. By using an individual inlay, we can achieve the best mechanical resistance of the construction, as well as an optimised shape. Such an inlay consists of the root part and the crown part.The root part is responsible for strengthening the structure of the root and appropriate transmission of the forces onto the root tissue, while the crown part is a prosthetic pillar, which is necessary for fitting a crown or a bridge.