Instead of using crowns, your dentist may use inlays and onlays. They are used to restore the molars, which have mild to moderate decay. They are also used for cracked or chipped teeth where it is not possible to repair them by crowns. These are made from porcelain and composite resin and even gold is used sometimes. In the inlays procedure the bonding material is limited to the middle of the tooth. In onlays the material can be extended to the cusps of the tooth. Inlays and onlays offer natural look, perfect fit and durability. Usually you require visiting the dentist at least twice for the procedure.
Inlays are used in shallow cavities and are cemented to the tip of the affected tooth. Onlays are similar fillings used in deeper and larger cavities. The best part is that though they are expensive while getting the treatment done, they are much stronger and durable than regular traditional fillings. In the first appointment the dentist will clean the tooth and put a temporary filling and take the impression for preparing the inlay/onlay. The ceramics or gold or other such strong materials used offer a larger range of colours to match the tooth. The inlay/onlay is prepared in the lab and on the next appointment date the temporary filling is removed and the prepared filling is bonded to the tooth.