Teeth with large defects or cavities that are not large enough to warrant a crown can be conservatively restored using an inlay or an onlay rather than just a filling.
The difference between an inlay and an onlay is that an inlay is used to reconstruct a tooth within the cusp tips of the tooth (the bumps/pointy area of your back teeth). An onlay is very similar to an inlay but it covers more of the tooth including part of the cusp tips. Both inlays and onlays can be made of either tooth colored materials (such as porcelain, composite resin, zirconia) or metals such as gold.
The first appointment will include:
During the second appointment: