A lot of times an inlay/onlay may look very similar to a filling, so you may ask, how would they benefit me exactly?
The modern day “white fillings” or “tooth-coloured fillings” are direct restorations made from a resin-based material (composite resin). After the tooth has been cleaned and prepared (aka after drilling), dollops of resin are placed onto the tooth directly, shaped by the dentist, and then hardened with a special UV light. Over time, the resin material becomes prone to degradation, and may chip or fracture. The inlay or onlay is either casted from a gold alloy, or milled from a monolithic block of ceramic material, and is designed to precisely fit the contours of the prepared tooth, including the cusps. While a filling is likely sufficient for the repair of small cavities, when it comes to larger restorations on the back teeth, inlays and onlays have shown significantly better longevity, higher long-term success and increased durability.