What is a crown?

A crown is a cap that is placed over a tooth and is held in place by dental adhesive or cement.

Crowns are used for several reasons:

What are crowns made from?

Historically, crowns were always made from a precious/semi-precious metal with a porcelain jacket bonded to the metal. However in recent times, all porcelain crowns can now be made, which highly enhances the aesthetics. Here at our practice we offer 4 different types of crowns, two of which have a metal base and two that are only porcelain. Each crown has its pros and cons regarding strength, aesthetics and how similar they are to one’s natural teeth.

The Process

After a clinician makes the decision that a crown is needed, or a patient requests a crown, the suitability for each type is assessed. Your dentist will discuss the different crown options with you and advise you on material choices, treatment length and sequence and they will address your concerns.

At the next appointment, preparatory work is carried out on the teeth that will be crowned. This involves reducing the size of the tooth, to allow the crown to fit over the top comfortably, usually under local anaesthesia which is followed by impressions of the prepared tooth and the rest of the mouth. The tooth size must be altered to allow space for the crown, and to avoid any contact with neighbouring teeth. The impression moulds are then sent to a specialist laboratory where the crown is skilfully fabricated. In the meantime, a temporary crown is usually made for the tooth.

At the final appointment, the temporary crown is removed and the tooth is cleaned. The new crown is tried onto the tooth to check the fit is comfortable and that there is harmony with the appearance and bite. Lastly, the crown is cemented in with permanent cement. Here at our practice, our sole interest is our patient and their happiness, so if you have any concerns at any stage of crown treatment, we will do our best to put your concerns at ease.

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, what’s left of the underlying tooth can still be prone to decay and the surrounding gum can be prone to gum disease.

It is also possible for the porcelain on the outside to fracture or chip under high amounts of pressure at regular intervals, for example if you clench or grind your teeth at night. It is advisable to avoid chewing excessively hard foods. Regular brushing and flossing is essential for not only taking care of your new crown, but for a healthy mouth.

Regular check-ups with your dentist will allow early detection of any problems with the crown or surrounding teeth/gums, and advice will be given on the best way forward and how we can help you.

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