Inlays and onlays are larger than fillings but smaller than crowns. These are usually applied to chewing surfaces on the premolars and molars. To be more cosmetically pleasing, the material used is tooth-colored instead of metal. Often times this procedure is done to replace large metal fillings or fillings that are beginning to wear on the back teeth. An inlay, like a filling, is used to fill the remaining space after the decayed portion of the tooth has been removed.
Inlays and onlays are done in two appointments. In the first appointment the tooth will be prepared and an impression will be taken. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory where the inlay or onlay is fabricated. After your inlay or onlay arrives back from the lab the dentist will place your inlay or onlay.