Large cavities can be restored with porcelain fillings made by a highly skilled laboratory technician. These types of fillings are called inlays. These restorations provide a high strength alternative to metal fillings.
If the area of decay or damage is extensive, or if the area needing treatment is in a tooth at the back of the mouth, an inlay or onlay may be recommended. An inlay is placed inside a tooth, whereas an onlay fixes to the outside and rebuilds the tooth shape. They can be made of metal, composite or porcelain.
As with a filling, the damaged area is prepared, but then an impression is taken of the tooth using a mouldable material so a technician can build an inlay or onlay to exactly fit your tooth.
Whilst it is being built, a temporary filling is placed in the tooth. When it is ready, your dentist will remove the temporary filling, fix your inlay or onlay onto your tooth and make small adjustments to ensure it is comfortable.