Inlays and onlays are another type of restoration available to our patients. They are generally used to repair a tooth that has more damage than can be restored with a normal filling, but are a more conservative option than a crown. Inlays and onlays are very similar. Both are indirect restorations, meaning we take impressions and have a dental lab fabricate a custom piece that fits precisely to your tooth. Inlays and onlays are pretty much the same except onlays are generally larger and include one or more cusp (the pointy part on a back tooth). These restorations are normally made from cast gold or porcelain. Gold inlays and onlays have been used for decades and are one of the longest lasting restorations we can provide for our patients. In recent years, porcelain inlays and onlays have become more popular due to their natural appearance. Although at this time they may not last as long as gold, the technology and materials are getting much better, and are still considered a durable and esthetic restoration.