When repairing a cavity, an inlay can restore your tooth to shape and function in a more durable manner than a traditional filling. An inlay is typically made of ceramic, composite resin, metal or gold. At the first appointment, your doctor will take an impression, or a mold, to help make a temporary inlay for your tooth. Next, your tooth is prepared by removing the decayed portion, leaving an area that will be replaced with the inlay. Your doctor will take another impression of the prepared tooth, and put in a temporary inlay, while the final restoration is being fabricated by an expert lab technician. At a subsequent appointment, your doctor will remove the temporary inlay and replace it with the final restoration. Since this restoration has been expertly crafted outside of the mouth, the final restoration will generally last longer than a large filling. Once completed, your tooth is free of decay, and restored to its natural strength and function.