Inlays and Partial Crowns

If a tooth is damaged by decay, all-ceramic inlays or, in the case of larger defects, onlays or partial crowns can replace the lost tooth substance.

The choice of tooth fillings depends on one hand on the size of the decay, but also on your preferences. We will decide together which option is the right one for you after a thorough discussion of the pros and cons. We will also inform you about any related costs in advance. You will have all the information you need before making a decision.


For larger defects that can no longer be filled with composite (white) fillings, all-ceramic inlays should be used. In preparation, the teeth are either digitally moulded using photography or conventionally moulded with an impression after decay is removed

In our dental laboratory, we then prepare the inlays and can cement them after seven to ten days. In the meantime, we provide temporary fittings. In order to bond ceramic inlays, we first put a protective dental dam (rubber dam) around the tooth to keep saliva out.

All-ceramic inlays impress with their perfect aesthetics and are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth. The material is characterised by its colour adjustability and high biocompatibility. Furthermore, due to the properties of ceramic, temperature stimuli are not transferred to the tooth nerve. Because of its darker colour, gold inlays are nowadays only used with patients with serious teeth grinding.

Partial crowns

Large defects of the hard tooth substance, such as those that occur after the treatment of large cavities or after accidents, cannot be fixed with inlays. This is because the tooth should be surrounded by an intact and stable biting surface. In this case, we use partial crowns, also known as onlays.

Modern high-performance ceramics guarantee a long service life, and our master dental laboratory in Germany guarantees the highest quality in crown function and aesthetics.

In contrast to a complete crown, a partial crown does not cover the entire tooth but replaces only partial areas of the dental crown. This protects the remaining hard tooth substance. They are particularly suitable for the treatment of medium and large defects in which sufficient healthy tooth substance is still present. Modern ceramic partial crowns not only meet the highest standards of aesthetics, bite and durability but are also very well tolerated biologically.

After removing the decay and preparing the tooth, we take either a digital or conventional impression. In our master dental laboratory, we then manufacture the partial crown for you individually and can bond it to the tooth after seven to 10 days. In the meantime, we fit the prepared teeth with temporaries.

Ceramic onlays or partial crowns are specially bonded to the tooth much like inlays, using extremely strong adhesive cement. For this purpose, we first put a protective dental dam around the tooth to keep saliva out. Gold partial crowns are cemented in place. Since gold onlays appear darker they are more likely to be used in the molar area and in patients who grind their teeth heavily.

How long do inlays and partial crowns last?

All-ceramic inlays, partial crowns and gold inlays and partial crowns have an average lifespan of 20 years. The latest scientific study provides us with a survival rate of 86% after 18 years (Reiss et. al. 2006). The durability is also dependent on the location and size. In addition, your oral hygiene has a decisive influence on the lifespan. For proper care, use floss or interdental brushes. We are happy to give you dental tips in person during your check-up or hygiene appointment.

Inlays, Onlays and partial crowns – when do we use what

For more information regarding this treatment

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Lecturer of the Academy of Practice and Science

Implantologist certified by the German Society for Implantology (DGI)

Specialist certified by the General Dental Council and the German Society of Prosthodontics and Dental Materials

Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine

Registered Specialist with the General Dental Council

All-on-4® Competence Center

University lecturer at the Christian-Albrechts-University at Kiel, Germany

Certified training centre for Implantology (DGI)

European Association for Osseointegration

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Wimpole Street Dental Clinic
  • 55 Wimpole Street
  • Marylebone
  • London
  • W1G 8YL
  • T.020 3745 7455

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