In certain cases porcelain inlays/onlays are used as alternative restorations to amalgam or tooth colored fillings. Porcelain inlays/onlays are individually fabricated pieces designed to precisely fit the excavated and prepared area of a tooth that has been damaged by decay or other injury. While an inlay is used to restore the central portion of a back tooth, an onlay is a larger restoration that extends out over one or more cusps of the tooth. In certain cases an onlay can cover and support enough tooth structure to avert the need for a full coverage dental crown.
Once the fit of the custom made porcelain inlay/onlay is checked, it is bonded to the underlying prepared tooth structure with a strong resin. Porcelain inlays/onlays can increase the strength of the tooth up to 75% and offer excellent stain resistance, as well as a natural appearance.