When a tooth has developed a cavity, the first solution to this problem would be to get a dental restoration that will clean the cavity of bacteria and seal it to prevent further damage and attack. Normal restorations are usually filled with composite resin which is a tooth-colored material. When the case is beyond ideal conditions, however, saying that the damage the tooth incurred from the decay is greater than what most traditional tooth fillings can cover, alternative methods are considered.
Inlays and onlays are examples of these alternative dental restorations. These restorative fillings are fabricated in the dental laboratory using the dental cast that is made from an impression taken from your mouth. Compared to traditional fillings which are performed directly in the mouth, the process involved in the fabrication of inlays and onlays are similar to how dental crowns are made. After the tooth has been cleaned and prepared, the impression is taken and then sent to the laboratory, so that the “fillings” can be fabricated and then cemented or bonded to the tooth.
Inlays and onlays are made of different materials. They could be made in gold, porcelain, composite resin or ceramic. Porcelain, ceramic and composite resins are the most esthetically pleasing options you can take for inlays and onlays, but gold is a suitable alternative if you are looking for value, power and strength. However, the appearance presents an issue, so making it less popular.
If you are in need of a dental restoration, your dentist will explain whether an inlay or onlay is going to be the best option for you. In general, inlays and onlays are best restorative options of posterior teeth with severe cavities. They are preferred over conventional fillings because they are more retentive and more durable, but they are more conservative than dental crowns. In terms of cost, it is comparable to the rates that crowns usually go for and it is a good investment to make if you are considering longevity.