Crowns & Onlays. Often the last resort for a tooth that is heavily broken...

The guide:

What is a dental crown?

A crown is a fixed unit that that replaces the lost portion of the tooth which is visible in the mouth. They are used to restore a broken, weakened or heavily filled tooth.  They are also used to improve the appearance of discoloured or crooked teeth although this option is more destructive than a veneer or direct bonding.  Crowns may be made of different materials such as pure metals or porcelain (which is tooth coloured) or a mixture of both. The different materials used have advantages and disadvantages. For example fully porcelain crowns although strong & natural looking, require a lot of tooth reduction compared to full metal crown which are strong in thin sections and hence less tooth reduction is required. Once the tooth has been prepared, an impression is taken by the dentist, which is then sent to the laboratory for the crown to be made. This usually takes about 1 week, and during this time the dentist will place a temporary crown to protect the tooth.

What are the chances of success?

A crown should easily last 10+ years if you look after it. As it is a mechanical prostheses fitted in the mouth, it requires regular care & maintenance by both dentist & patient to ensure success.  There are some recent studies that have shown that teeth prepared for crowns have a 20% chance of dying off (pulp death) within 10 years.

What are the benefits?

A crown is strong and can look and feel exactly like a natural tooth. The colour and shape can be matched to your own teeth.  A badly broken down tooth can be fully restored and functioning again with a crown.

My Crown is going dark at the margin, why is this?

Often crowns that have metal under the porcelain can start to show a dark band where the crown meets the gum. This can be very unpleasant looking and often is the most common reason for the crown being replaced.

The reason this happens is due to a number of potential factors:

1. The gum can recede and shrink that exposes this dark margin of metal under the porcelain.

2. The gum can recede and expose some of the root of the tooth which is often very dark.

3. Some of the porcelain may have chipped away exposing the metal.

These are the most common reasons but to find out what has happened to your crowns book a free consultation at our practice in Horsforth, Leeds. Call 01132818873 to book yours today.

Can I have my crowns replaced?

Yes you certainly can. However the dentist will first need to check with a dental x-ray the state of the tooth underneath and check to make sure that changing the crown will be safe.

Often many patients opt to have old, metal or poorly made crowns replaced with brand new life like porcelain crowns. 

If you would like to discuss your options with Dr Alex Al-Shaikh call 0113 281 8873 to book your free consultation. 

What is an Onlay?

An onlay is similar to a crown and still covers the top of the tooth to protect it but does not cover as much of the front and back of the tooth as a conventional crown.

They are therefore a more conservative option because they do not require as much of your tooth to be removed.

They can only be used on back teeth and are often indicated to protect a tooth that has had a root canal treatment.

They are available in tooth coloured porcelain or resin and metal (gold or silver).


We have been providing professional dental treatement to a very high standard for years. Here's what a few of our patients say about our service:

"I have been going to Alexandra Road Dental Practice for 15 years and couldn't think of a bad thing to say, from the second you walk in to the time you leave you feel safe and welcomed, the staff are fantastic and highly skilled in what they do, I would never go to another dentist after coming here." Valo Connors
"Very pleasant from seeing receptionist to dentist and back to receptionist. Treatment painless. Very pleased with all treatment, teeth look great!" Laraine Denise Burton

How much does it cost?

Our latest prices are shown on our price list page

Find out more or book a consultation

0113 281 8873or

Our friendly and knowledgeable team, led by our Practice Manager, Sian Denning, are always happy to help with any queries. Rest assured that your enquiry will be treated as strictly confidential and we'll never pressure you into making an appointment.

Innovative dental care and cosmetic excellence.

14 Alexandra Road, Horsforth, Leeds, LS18 4HD

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