Inlays are similar to fillings, but the inlay can take more bite force. After decay has been removed from the tooth, an impression is taken. The inlay is custom-made from the impression. During a second visit, the inlay is cemented into the tooth. An inlay strengthens the tooth, unlike a filling, which actually weakens it.
Inlays are crafted from ceramic, resin or gold. Ceramic inlays offer the best combination of strength and aesthetics. Resin inlays are less expensive that gold or ceramic inlays, but they are not as durable. Gold inlays are the most durable, but they are expensive and don’t match the natural tooth. Which inlay material you choose depends on placement and budget. Your dentist can discuss all of the options with you to help you come to the right decision.