When teeth toward the back of the mouth have cavities that require a repair less extensive than a crown but are serious enough to need something more supportive than a filling and/or have small cracks or fractures that require restoration, porcelain inlays and onlays are an excellent choice for the job. Porcelain inlays and onlays are a conservative choice that ensures the preservation of the maximum amount of your own tooth.
Inlays and onlays are durable alternatives to ordinary fillings. They are custom-made by your ceramists which are then bonded to the teeth requiring repair.
As a clarification, there are differences between inlays and onlays: inlays are placed in the center of a tooth and bonded to it. They are most often employed for decayed or damaged teeth where the problem areas are shallow but wide, near the outer surfaces of the tooth. An onlay may be necessary where a previous large filling has failed and needs replacing or there is a large cavity that needs to be repaired.
Our goal is always to save your damaged teeth; inlays and onlays are helpful by giving more support to your remaining tooth structure and minimize the chances that you will eventually require further treatment, such as dental crowns, bridges, or implants.