Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and Onlays are the preferred modern restoration in cases of damage that is substantial but not sufficient to require a full crown. They basically are forms of large fillings. Inlays are used in situations where the cavity resulting from decay does not involve any of the cusps of the tooth, where onlays are used when there is additional damage extending over the cusps of the tooth.
Traditional restorations, be it gold or silver fillings, significantly reduce the strength of the tooth - thereby making it more susceptible to fracturing and cracking over time. A key advantage of Inlays and Onlays is that they are bonded to the tooth using high strength resins and can actually strengthen the tooth. Added to the benefit of being natural tooth color, this makes these modern restorations the ideal way to fix damage caused by major decay.