When the tooth structure has become weakened with decay or an existing filling is very large and deteriorated, a dental crown may be necessary.

Furthermore, when teeth have had root canal treatment, it can inherently reduce the strength of them and a crown or onlay may become necessary to strengthen the tooth and protect it from the forces of biting. Additionally, anterior teeth which have had extensive treatment and need aesthetic improvement can also be replaced with crowns to cosmetically improve them.

This dental restoration is applied to the full surface of the tooth and whilst it can be made in a number of different materials, at The Windmill Dental Practice we predominantly use porcelain-based crowns which match the colour and shade of teeth and give the tooth additional strength.

Dental crowns are more invasive than veneers and require more tooth adjustment, they do, however, tend to last longer and are more durable.


  • Anaesthetic is placed to make the area numb and as comfortable as possible during the procedure.
  • Quite often a matrix is taken at the chair-side to create a scaffold to make a temporary crown.
  • The tooth in question is prepared accordingly.
  • A putty mould or scan is taken of the prepared tooth and sent to the lab to make.
  • A temporary crown is made and placed on to protect the tooth whilst the crown is made.
  • The lab based crown is then fitted accordingly usually 2 weeks after the initial appointment.

Why will my tooth need a crown?

When a tooth is heavily filled, has lost a lot of tooth structure, or has become weakened for any reason the tooth is likely to need a crown. The crown will act to protect the underlying tooth structure and prevent it from fracturing.

Teeth which have had root canal treatment will become weaker and are at greater risk of fracture. It is always recommended to have some form of cusp protection placed on a tooth which has had root canal treatment. This can be either an onlay or crown, depending on the remaining tooth structure.

What is an onlay?

An onlay is a smaller version of a crown that sits on top of the tooth to protect it from fracture. If you imagine the crown sitting on a tooth is like a bobble hat then an onlay is more like a flat cap. As a result an onlay is far less destructive to tooth tissue because much less needs to be removed. At The Windmill Dental Practice conservative dentistry is preferred, and we always use onlays where appropriate. On some occasions however a crown is needed.

What colour are the crowns/onlays?

We use a variety of materials for our crowns. Usually we will use porcelain and this will match the natural colour of your teeth. On rare occasions and with our patients agreement, gold will be the material of choice, used for its strength and flexibility.

Crown and onlay pricing

Crown from £650

Onlay From £650

Anterior aesthetic crown From £800

(Practice Plan patients will receive a 20% discount (excluding laboratory fee) and we do offer 0% finance on treatments over £1000 to help spread the cost).