Inlays and onlays are dental restorations which are often an attractive alternative to dental crowns. They are also called indirect fillings, and may provide patients of Casey Patterson DDS a stronger, longer lasting reparative solution to tooth decay. Dr. Patterson may also use inlays and onlays instead of traditional dental fillings as a method of treating tooth decay, or other structural damage to a tooth. An inlay involves material bonded within the center of the tooth, whereas an onlay will cover the biting surface and cusps of the tooth.