Inlays are custom fit fillings made in a laboratory. First, the decay is cleaned from your tooth and then an impression of the tooth is made and sent to the lab. In the interim a temporary filling is used to fill in the space and protect your tooth from fracture or further deterioration. It's important that you avoid chewing or applying any stress to the temporary filling, as it may be fragile.
When the lab receives the impression from your dentist they will custom make your filling for your tooth. There are several types of materials they can use for the inlay.
The first type of inlay is porcelain or ceramic material colored to match your tooth. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing the other benefits of porcelain or ceramic inlays are that they are also quite stain resistant and hard.
The second type of inlay is made of a metal, such as gold. Metallic inlays are well known for their durability.
The final type of inlay is made of tooth colored composites. Like the porcelain inlays, composites are also very aesthetically pleasing. All three types of inlays are bonded or glued to your teeth with a special cement or glue. Keep in mind that you should stay away from eating on the site of the newly cemented inlay for at least 24 hours.