After decay is removed from a tooth, something must be placed in that space to give strength back to the tooth.
Fillings: Fillings are the most common restorative procedure.
Inlays and onlays: In addition to fillings, lab fabricated inlays and onlays are sometimes used. Although many patients think of these as fillings as well, they are actually different since they are laboratory fabricated.
White fillings: White fillings are used almost all of the time in our office. They are an attractive, durable alternative to silver (amalgam) fillings. White fillings are made of a strong composite resin that is matched to the surrounding tooth color. In the past, white fillings were placed only on front teeth, but recently a stronger more durable material has been developed that can withstand the chewing pressure of back teeth.
White Porcelain or Resin inlay or onlay: A porcelain or resin inlay or onlay is used when the cavity is too big for a filling, but isn't so big that a crown is required. An inlay is a filling within the cusp tips of the tooth. Onlays (also known as overlays) will overlay one or more cusps in order to protect and strengthen the tooth.
An inlay or onlay may also be made of gold.