A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line
Why would I need a crown?
Crowns are an ideal way to repair teeth that have been broken, been weakened by decay or have existing large fillings. They may also be use to improve appearance of teeth that have discoloured fillings in, to protect a tooth that has had a root canal filling or to aid a bridge or denture to be firmly held in place.
How is a crown prepared?
The dentist will usually give you a local anaesthetic, they will then prepare the tooth to the ideal shape for the crown to fit onto, this will involve removing a layer of the outer surface of the tooth.
Once the tooth is shaped your dentist will taken an impression of the prepared tooth, one of the opposite jaw and possibly another to show how you bite together.
The impressions then are sent to a dental technician along with instructions on what type of crown they wish to be prepared, which shade and any further information regarding the crown.
A temporary crown will usually be placed on your prepared tooth but this is not always necessary. This crown maybe more noticeable but it is only a temporary solution.
How is the crown fitted?
When you and your dentist are happy with the fit and appearance of the crown it will be fixed in place with a dental cement or adhesive, this forms a seal to hold the crown in place.
How long does the treatment take?
You will need to have two visits. The first visit is to prepare the tooth, take impressions and fit a temporary crown. The crown will be sent away to a dental technician. The second visit your dentist will fit the permanent crown. There is usually 1-2weeks inbetween the two appointments.
Will the crown feel different?
Because the shape of the crown will be slightly different from the shape of your tooth before it was crowned you may be aware of it at first. Within a few days it should feel fine and you will not notice it. The crown may need some adjustments if your bite does not feel comfortable, you should ask your dentist to check and adjust it.
How do I care for my crown?
It is important to keep the crown just as clean as you would your natural teeth. The crown itself cannot decay, but decay can start where the edge of the crown joins the tooth. Brush twice daily and clean inbetween your teeth with floss or interdenal brushes daily. Speak to your dentist or oral health education at the practice if you feel you are struggling to effectively clean your crown.
How long will the crown last?
How long your crown lasts depends on how well you look after it.
What different types of crowns are there?
All Ceramic Crowns – these crowns are fabricated out of entirely a glass like material usually porcelain, these kind of crowns are highly aesthetically pleasing and are most ‘tooth-like’
At Regency House Dental Practice we offer Porcelain Jacket Crowns and E-Max crowns.
Bonded-to-Metal Crowns – This uses both metal and porcelain, a metal alloy is used to make a thin cap that fits over the tooth, porcelain is then fused to this metal structure to form the overall shape of the crown and to give it a tooth coloured and natural looking appearance. This type of crown is stronger than an all ceramic crown, due to its metal core, but it is not as strong as a metal crown.
Metal Crowns – these crowns are fabricated entirely of metal. These crowns aren’t tooth coloured but provide the strongest form or crown and the longevity is the greatest. You may choose to have these on molar teeth that are less visible in the smile line and take the greatest force whilst chewing. There are a number of alloys that can be used to make a metal crown, this can affect the colour but also affects the cost of making a crown.
Precious metal crowns contain a minimum of 60% noble metal (gold/platinum/palladium) of which 40 % must be gold.
Semi-precious contains minimum of 25% noble metal.
Non-precious contains less than 25% noble metal – a large portion of their content maybe nickel, chromium or beryllium.
Noble metals cost more.
Post Crown – in a root filled tooth it may be necessary a post into the root of the tooth before placing one of the above crowns. A post gives support and helps the crown to stay in place. The post may be a prefabricated one or a custom made one you dentist will fit this or cement it in place before placing your crown.
There are a number of options to consider if you were to require a crown there are many pros and cons to each option. Your dentist will provide you with all your options and costs involved.