Veneers & Crowns

We use the word crowns for a few different things, but put simply it means a cap/hat that goes around the tooth to protect it. Crowns come in many shapes and materials.


Veneers are different in the fact that they don’t cover all surfaces of the tooth, usually they only go over the front surface. 

Veneers are very thin and mostly used for cosmetic reasons. They are a great way to improve the shape and appearance of teeth. If the front teeth have had a lot of fillings over the years, or if they chip regularly, Veneers are a fantastic option. They got some bad press a few years ago due to some “Hollywood smiles” (AKA the blindingly-white-smiles). Some people love them, and beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. That being said, most of our patients ask for a more subtle and natural-looking change. 


Crowns usually cover all surfaces of a tooth. They can be used for cosmetic purposes, just like veneers. In some cases, they may be a better option than veneers. The majority of time they are used to provide strength to the teeth.  

After root canal treatment, a tooth can be very brittle. Root canal teeth routinely break apart, especially if they have large silver fillings. Teeth with large fillings in general may benefit from a crown, especially if they are further back. They take significant biting forces. A crown is the perfect solution to help the tooth stay strong and give the root treatment the best chance for survival. 

The Treatment

To prepare a tooth for a crown, each tooth has to be assessed clinically, which may also include an x-ray or scan. The tooth is then shaped and slimmed down to make space for the crown to fit on top. An impression or scan is completed, which is sent to the lab so that they can begin to make your personalised crown. After around 2 weeks, the crown(s) come back and are fitted. Whilst waiting for the final crowns to come back, a temporary crown will be made(we wouldn’t let you leave and spend two weeks smiling with a slimmed down tooth!).  As natural tooth structure is taken away there is always a risk that the tooth (if already healthy) may develop some sensitivity which can lead to root canal or in some extreme cases an extraction, this is uncommon and using modern techniques we have done our best to lower the chance of this occurring.

Crowns come in 3 main materials

Metal crowns

These are usually gold or silver. They are mainly reserved for the back teeth, but we do get some requests for gold crowns at the front. Silver crowns in back teeth are the only available options currently provided by the NHS

Bonded Crowns (porcelain bonded to metal)

These are “white” crowns, they have a layer of porcelain which is bonded to the metal substructure. A metal collar can be seen round the gum line. They are a very good option for back teeth. For all they are white due to the silver metal collar, they can show after a couple of years. We all get a bit of receding gums and the metal starts to colour through before the gums have pulled away from the crown. You may even have them already, or seen people with a dark line at their gum.

Ceramic crowns

These are aesthetically the most pleasing type of crowns. They are many brands and makes such as Empress, Emax or Zirconia. These crowns can be indistinguishable from naturally teeth. They provide a good options for anyone looking to improve the appearance of their teeth. In the back of the mouth, modern crowns are also strong enough to take on the heavy pressure of biting, making them a good option everywhere.