When a tooth becomes damaged, it needs to be restored. Cavities and other small issues can be solved with dental fillings, whereas larger concerns such as cracks or chips are often capped with dental crowns. But what do you do for dental damage that lays somewhere in the middle? A large dental filling can weaken the remaining structure of your tooth, and using a dental crown may require that more tooth mass is removed unnecessarily. This is where dental inlays and onlays come in. Dental inlays and onlays are used to restore larger cavities without further damaging the affected tooth and are generally made from gold, composite resin or porcelain, and you can often choose which one is best for you based on your preference, or your budget and overall insurance coverage. A dental inlay fills cavities that are in the central space between cusps, or the rounded edges of a tooth. Dental onlays cover one or more cusps, or in some cases, the entire biting surface of the tooth. These dental restorations may sometimes be referred to as “partial dental crowns” because of the amount of work they do to restore your damaged teeth as well as to restore their overall appearance.