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45-90 mins

What are Crowns or Onlays?

When a tooth has a crack, a root canal filling or is heavily filled, it can be protected by having a crown or an onlay placed.

A crown may also be known as a “cap”. It fits over the remaining parts of the tooth, strengthening it and giving it the shape and contour of a natural tooth.

A crown or an onlay (a partial crown) is a strong, long-lasting way of repairing a tooth. It is often the best way to rebuild a tooth which has broken or been weakened by decay or a large filling. It may also be the best solution for improving the appearance of a heavily filled tooth.

The process involves anesthetising the tooth and shaping the tooth for a crown. We then take impressions or a scan of your teeth, followed by making a temporary covering for your teeth. The information needed to make your crown is sent to our dental laboratories often with photos to give instructions on what type of crown to make for you.

At your next visit, the crown is tried in place and as long as both you and your dentist are happy with the fit, appearance and bite, it can be cemented or bonded into place. If any significant changes are required to the crown, it is sent back to the laboratory and fitted on a following visit.

Crowns can be made from metal, porcelain, gold or a mixture of them. The most natural looking crowns are made from porcelain. Speak to your dentist about your options and what suits your needs best.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When you attend for your appointment your dentist will assess your tooth and let you know of the best way to repair it. If the tooth has a fracture, multiple large fillings or has had a root canal filling, it will likely require a crown or an onlay to protect it.

Having a root canal filling does make the tooth weaker. The treatment for a root canal filling and a crown do go hand in one.

In order to protect the tooth from breaking, most back teeth that have root canal fillings will require a crown to protect them.

The crown can be made from a variety of material including metal, gold, porcelain or a mixture.

If you would like the most aesthetic result possible, you should consider having an eMax or layered Zirconia crown. This is something you dentist can discuss with you in person and give you a range of options that will suit your individual needs.

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