Inlays can be used to restore a tooth with extensive areas of decay or damage that would be difficult to repair with a normal filling. As they are more durable than fillings, they are usually placed on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth or can repair large areas on the front teeth. They also offer a less invasive alternative to the full coverage provided by crowns.
Inlays are made from hard-wearing materials such as porcelain or composite resin. If aesthetics are not an issue, gold is a hardwearing choice. Unlike fillings, they are produced outside the mouth in a dental laboratory and then fitted to the tooth by the dentist.
Inlays are very stable restorations that will fit a damaged tooth perfectly to provide superior protection. The affected tooth requires minimal preparation and the inlay is tailored to fit so it can be easier to keep clean than other restorations.