Inlays and onlays are restorations that are used when you have a mild to moderate amount of missing tooth structure and therefore, conserve more natural tooth than a crown. If you’re missing too much tooth structure, you may need a crown—but inlays and onlays can often be done instead.
The location in the mouth that needs inlays or onlays determines the material Dr. Wright recommends, whether gold or porcelain. She usually recommends gold for inlays or onlays on the teeth in the very back of the mouth. These teeth endure more force than the remaining teeth, and gold holds up better over time. People who don’t want to show any metal in their mouth may choose porcelain, but it is at greater risk of breakage.
You make the final decision on your type of restoration. Similar to crowns, inlays and onlays require two appointments for us to prepare the tooth and take an impression. You’ll wear a temporary restoration until we make your permanent one. Once we place the restoration, your tooth should feel as good as new.