Inlays and onlays (also called indirect fillings) are more durable and may last much longer than traditional fillings. They can be made of tooth-colored composite resin, porcelain or gold. Inlays and onlays are similar to composite or tooth-colored fillings except that they are made in a dental laboratory. Indirect fillings are considered when not enough tooth structure remains to support a filling but the tooth is not so severely damaged that it needs a crown.
During the first visit, decay or an old filling is removed. An impression is made to record the shape of the tooth being repaired and the teeth around it. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory that will fabricate the indirect filling. A temporary filling is placed to protect the tooth while your restoration is being made. During the second visit, the temporary filling is removed, and the restoration will be cemented into place.