Inlays and Onlays in the Centre of Hamburg

For minor damage to the tooth, mainly caused by tooth decay, fillings and inlays made in the lab are used. Both serve to preserve the natural tooth.

For larger defects, however, the properties of inlay insert fillings can no longer compensate for the tooth damage. In those cases, an onlay becomes necessary. An inlay can only cover part of the occlusal surface of a tooth, while an onlay covers the entire occlusal surface and, if necessary, parts of the dental cusps.

Dental fillings, such as cement or composite, can be rapidly made and used in the field, while inlays are manufactured in the lab. Therefore, a second appointment is necessary for the supply with an inlay or onlay (exception: the directly producible Cerec inlay).

What are inlays and onlays?

Inlays and onlays are a high quality and durable alternative to dental fillings – they are glued or cemented into the tooth. In contrast to classical fillings, inlays and onlays are precisely created in the laboratory and attached to the prepared tooth by our experts.

The most important information at a glance

Inlays and Onlays

Suitable for:Usually anyone
Anaesthesia:Local anaesthesia
Necessary if:Loss of substance due to caries
Advantages:Stable, long-lasting
Duration:Possible in one session

Advantages of the Zahnklinik ABC Bogen

Their properties make inlays and onlays a central treatment in the field of tooth preservation. The treatment in our dental clinic is completely painless, gentle and adapted to your individual situation.

Types of Inlays and Onlays

In general, inlays and onlays today are usually made of ceramic, plastic or gold. However, they do not always have to be handcrafted in the laboratory. A particularly time-saving and precise method is the use of ceramic inlays, which are created in our dental clinic using computer and digital technology.

Your dental situation will be recorded digitally with a measuring camera, the data will be processed in a computer program and converted to a perfect fit for you. Subsequently, the inlay is swiftly milled from a full ceramic block with the help of a computer.

Ceramic Inlays and Onlays

For ceramic inlays and onlays, a single appointment is sufficient, as impression and temporary restoration are not required with this method. The attachment in the tooth, however, is the same for both computer-assisted and hand-made ceramic inlays, namely with a plastic adhesive developed for dental medicine.


In the dental laboratory, inlays can also be made from different materials in the so-called lost wax process: They are either made of precious metal, ceramic or plastic. With both inlays from the laboratory and from the computer-assisted cutter, the damage of the teeth is securely closed, the natural tooth substance preserved.

Unlike a traditional tooth filling, an onlay is always made individually for you in the laboratory. In practice, the created onlay is finally placed on the affected area where it covers the entire area of the natural tooth crown. If the onlay is fixed on the damaged tooth, it protects the weakened tooth walls and prevents fractures.

From an aesthetic point of view, ceramics inlays are the most advantageous option, especially if major dental defects need to be treated in the area of the posterior teeth. In addition, these inlays are durable because they have little material abrasion despite their good caustics.

Ceramics inlays and onlays not only have high color fastness, but are also well biocompatible – they are well-suited for the treatment of posterior defects. A visual difference between ceramic inlay and natural tooth hardly notice even experts.

A clear advantage is the natural aesthetics of a ceramic insert filling, because it can be adapted to the particular tooth color. An advantage of ceramic inlays is that they do not affect the taste and are not sensitive to temperature.

Gold Inlays

For caries in the posterior teeth, gold is a solid material for an inlay: not only does the precious metal withstand heavy chewing loads, it is also soft enough not to damage the opposing tooth by abrasion. The precious metal inlay uses a gold alloy that mixes gold with other metals. Inlays made of gold are cemented with a cement specially developed for dentistry.

Course of the Treatment with Inlays and Onlays

The treatment with an inlay begins with the removal of tooth decay. This creates cavities in the teeth, which are cleaned and easily ground. This step is referred to as a preparation, the resulting form will be used to put the inlay in.

In keeping with the prepared tooth shape, the inlay is made in the second step and inserted into the tooth. Depending on the material used for the inlay, the tooth must be roughened after further cleaning in order to guarantee a good hold of the insert filling.

The deepest part of the cavity, the tooth “floor”, can be protected with a cement underfill. This keeps the inside of the teeth especially well from irritating cold and heat. The inlay is held by means of a plastic, which is introduced into the tooth gap in liquid form and hardens there. Alternatively, a special dental cement may be used as a bonding material for fixing the inlay.