Many times there is not enough tooth structure remaining to hold a “filling” in a tooth. This can be for a variety of reasons. If a tooth already has a large filling that needs to be replaced due to fracture or recurrent decay an indirect restoration such as an onlay or full coverage crown may be recommended. Depending on the tooth and where it is in the mouth an only is a wonderful restoration. It fits in the tooth just like a puzzle piece. In the past inlays and onlays were gold casted but today with advancements in ceramic materials these restorations match the teeth beautifully.
The area around the tooth and the tooth itself will be numbed with local anesthetic. The compromised portion of the tooth will be removed. The remaining tooth structured shaped and smoothed. An impression of the tooth, teeth next to apposing be made and your bite recorded. A temporary will be made and temporarily cemented on the tooth so that you will be comfortable while until your onlay is returned from the lab ready to be permanently cemented.