Dental Inlays, typically made of porcelain are used as a treatment plan to restore the aesthetics of a tooth if the decay or fracture is so extensive that a direct restoration, such as amalgam or composite, would compromise the structural integrity of the restored tooth by possibly undermining the remaining tooth structure or providing substandard opposition to occlusal (i.e. biting) forces. In such situations, an indirect gold or porcelain inlay restoration may be indicated.
Porcelain Inlays are popular with dental tourism, especially as part of a larger dental plan. Popular European destinations include Poland, Croatia, Hungary and Spain, where the cost savings compared to the UK can be substantial.
From North American, Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama are very popular destinations which are close to home, and in Asia Singapore and the Philippines have world class dental facilities.
When an inlay is used, the tooth-to-restoration margin may be finished and polished to such a super-fine line of contact that recurrent decay will be all but impossible. It is for this reason that some dentists recommend inlays as the restoration of choice for pretty much any and all filling situations.