You can have inlays and onlays instead of fillings. Fillings are soft to begin with and are moulded to shape in the mouth. Inlays and onlays are made outside the mouth, usual in a dental laboratory, and then glued to the tooth in the surgery.
An inlay sits in a hole in the tooth. An onlay sits on the tooth and builds up its shape. Inlays and onlays can be made in tooth-coloured porcelain, gold or a material called composite. Different materials are suitable for different parts of the mouth and different parts of the teeth.
Inlays and onlays are strong and can last longer than fillings.
They are especially suitable for the chewing surfaces of back teeth and for large repairs to front teeth where it can be difficult to make a white filling look natural.