• Ceramic inlays;
  • clinical performance;
  • literature review


The availability of improved ceramic materials, bonding techniques, new technology and issues of amalgam safety have led to a revival of interest in ceramic inlays in density over the past ten years. Clinical studies have been carried out during this time using various evaluation technique to assess the clinical performance of these restorations.

In this paper, recent clinical studies are examined and a review of the current state of knowledge regarding the clinical performance and survival statistics of ceramic inlays in presented. The major problems associated with ceramic inlay therapy appear to be fracture, hepersensitivity, degree of fit, maintenance of marginal integrity, microleakage, bond failure and cement wear. Other areas which also effect the clinical performance of ceramic inlays are ceramic wear, opposing tooth wear, plaque accumulation, gingivitis, secondary caries, colour stability, anatomic form and radiopacity.

Recommendations based on the findings of clinical studies are also preseneted and whilst no specific material or technique has been shown to be clearly superior, certain principles which predispose to success can be identified.

When compared with other forms of aesthetic intra-coronal restorations, ceramic inlays perform well. However, their high cost and extreme technique sensitivity would appear to restrict their use to certain limited clinical situations.