Porcelain Inlays and onlays are frequently used to restore teeth that are severely damaged by decay or wear. A porcelain inlay is used similarly to a filling and lies inside the cusp of the tooth, while a porcelain onlay is used on the exterior of the tooth when the damage extends into the outer cusps or wall of the tooth. Inlays and onlays provide more strength than a filling, yet are more conservative than a full crown.
Although inlays and onlays can be made of composite material, porcelain or gold, the most popular choice is porcelain because the color can be blended with the natural tooth. Porcelain inlays and onlays are highly durable and last much longer than conventional fillings. The restorations are fabricated at a professional dental laboratory and can usually be completed in two office visits.