Decayed or chipped teeth can often be repaired with tooth coloured fillings that look natural, however if the damage is too substantial, particularly on the back teeth, then an inlay or onlay may be a better long-term option. Inlays or onlays can be made from a number of strong materials such as metals or ceramics.
An inlay is a small filling that fits into the biting surface of a tooth. An onlay covers a larger area of the tooth and is better suited to bigger cavities. Gold was traditionally used for these types of restorations. However, in recent times hard-wearing tooth-coloured porcelain and composite have become a more popular choice of material. This is a more aesthetic way to restore the teeth and creates a more natural-looking smile.