What is a crown?
If you are unhappy with your teeth, crowns can offer a neat, natural-coloured cover up. They fit completely over a whole tooth, concealing defects caused by chips, decay, discolouration or large fillings.
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Why do I need a dental crown?
A crown is a cap that is placed over a tooth and held in place by dental adhesive or cement. Crowns are used for several reasons:
- As a protective cover for badly decayed teeth or fractured teeth
- As a permanent restoration for teeth with large fillings
- To correct minor problems in natural teeth like spacing and irregular shape or severe discolouration.
What are crowns made of?
Crowns can be made from a variety of materials, including plastic, ceramic or metal alloys. A combination of metal and ceramic is also possible to maximise strength and simulate the appearance of natural teeth.
How are crowns made?
Firstly, a thorough clinical examination is conducted, with radiographs, by the dentist. The suitability for crowns is assessed and any preparatory work is carried out. Your dentist will also be able to advise on material choices, treatment sequence and any other concerns you may have.
At the second appointment, the teeth to be crowned are prepared. This involves reduction of the tooth size (usually under local anaesthesia) followed by an impression or mould of the prepared tooth. This trimming of the tooth is required to create space for the crown to be fitted. The mould taken is then sent to a laboratory where skilled technicians will fabricate the crown. In the meantime, a temporary crown is made and fitted onto the trimmed tooth.
At the third appointment, the temporary crown is removed and the tooth surfaces cleaned. The completed crown is tried on the tooth for fit, harmony with the bite, and appearance. Finally, the crown is cemented onto the prepared tooth with dental cement.Get started
How long do crowns last and how do I care for them?
Crowns are made of inert materials that do not deteriorate over time. However, the underlying tooth is still prone to decay and gum disease.
Ceramic on the surface may chip or fracture. Avoid chewing excessively-hard substances like ice or bones. Daily brushing and flossing are essential for maintaining good oral health as well as keeping the crown trouble-free. The most vulnerable portion of the crown is the margin or the junction between tooth and crown.
Regular check-ups will enable us to detect any problems with your crown and recommend necessary treatment.
Frequently asked questions
The best way to care for your crown is to stay on top of your oral hygiene – this means keeping your teeth and gums healthy by brushing with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day and flossing between your teeth. You also need to see your dentist regularly for check-ups so they can keep an eye on your crown and the tooth underneath.
You are able to choose the colour of your crown, based on your personal preferences. We may advise you of the shade which would best match your natural tooth colour, but it is ultimately up to you. If you are considering having whitening treatment, you may prefer to have this treatment first, as whitening is not effective on crowns and your crown can then be made to match your new shade.
Tooth crowns are not permanent, and will need replacing or repairing at some point. The treatment process is irreversible as some of your natural dental enamel is removed in order to accommodate the crown on top, so you will always need a crown on your tooth. Most crowns last for up to 10-15 years before natural wear and tear will likely cause the need for removal and replacement.
We use local anaesthetic to numb the affected area before preparing your tooth for a crown, and fitting the crown itself to make sure you won’t feel any pain. We take the time to ensure you feel relaxed and comfortable before beginning any treatment. Many patients find that having a crown is no more uncomfortable than a filling.