Crowns, Inlays, Onlays, Overlays & Bridges

Dental crown and bridge work in Christchurch, Dorset


A crown is an artificial restoration that fits over the remaining part of a prepared tooth like a thimble, making it strong and giving it the shape of a natural tooth. A crown is sometimes known as a ‘cap’.

Why would I need a crown?

Crowns are an ideal restoration for teeth that have been broken, or have been weakened by decay or a very large filling.

A crown could be used for a number of other reasons, for instance:

  • a tooth with a very large filling which is weak and needs to be reinforced
  • a tooth with multiple discoloured fillings and you would like to improve the appearance or shape of the tooth
  • you may have had a root filling which will need a crown to protect what is left of the tooth.
  • The tooth may be cracked and a crown can reduce the risk of that crack going further into the centre of the tooth
  • it may help hold a bridge or denture firmly in place.

Inlays, Onlays and Overlays

Inlays, overlays and onlays are similar to each other. Their advantage is that they are stronger than fillings and require less tooth removal than a crown. An inlay is a stronger alternative to a filling and sits within a cavity. An Onlay is similar to an inlay but covers more of the chewing surface of the tooth to protect a weak area. An overlay covers all of the chewing surface of the tooth to reduce the risk of the tooth breaking. An onlay does not normally cover the sides of the tooth as this would be a crown.


A bridge is a way of replacing a missing tooth. It is an alternative to a partial denture or an implant. A bridge is fixed in the mouth to one or more adjacent teeth. There are two commonly used types of bridge:

  • A crown retained bridge is made by placing a crown on both teeth either side of a gap, these two crowns are then joined together by placing an additional porcelain tooth in the space which is joined to the new crowns. Sometimes only one tooth beside the gap needs to be crowned to hold the new tooth.
  • A resin retained bridge requires no or minimal drilling of the tooth that it is bonded to. These bridges work well but cannot be used in all situations.

Crowns, Inlays, Onlays, Overlays & Bridges are made using a dental laboratory. In recent years the techniques involved have become extremely sophisticated with more and more emphasis on digital scanning and milling of restorations. This allows for improved accuracy and strength which helps restorations last longer.

Click here to book an appointment
or request a call back
Crowns and Bridges

I moved here aged 62, uneven teeth, did not like to smile. I saw your advert. That was the beginning of my long relationship with Hoburne Dental Practice.

They changed my bite (it is never too late) so that my teeth could be capped. My upper and lower dentures were replaced by bridges, so no more mouth ulcers.

Then the most marvellous thing of all, when a vital tooth, supporting a bridge had to go. I was offered implants and what an amazing success they are. Thank you one and all.