Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold or composite resin. These restorations are bonded to the area of the tooth. An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth. An onlay is a more substantial reconstruction where one or more of the cusp tips require restoration.
Traditionally, gold has been the material of choice for inlays and onlays. In recent years, however, porcelain has become increasingly popular due to its strength and ability to match the natural color of your teeth.
Inlays and onlays require two appointments to complete the procedure. During the first visit, the tooth is prepared by removing old filling material or damaged/decayed tooth structure. An impression is taken and sent to the lab for fabrication. The doctor will place a temporary restoration on the tooth and schedule the next appointment.
At the second appointment, the temporary is removed and the doctor will make sure the inlay or onlay fits properly. If the fit is satisfactory, the inlay or onlay will be bonded in place and polished.