What is a crown?
A crown is an artificial cap which fits over the tooth and is held in place by a dental adhesive/cement to restore its natural appearance and function. Crowns can be made from ceramic or metal alloys, or a combination of both, and can give a tooth a whole new look by improving its shape and colour.
Why have a crown?
Crowns could be the ideal solution if you have any of the following:
- Teeth that are broken, weakened by decay, or have very large fillings
- Discoloured fillings – to improve their appearance
- Root filled teeth – to protect the tooth
- A bridge that needs anchoring onto a tooth
What does treatment involve?
At the first appointment, a thorough clinical examination by the dentist is conducted with radiographs. The suitability for crowns is assessed and any preparatory work carried out. Your dentist will also be able to advise on material choices, the treatment sequence, cost and any other concerns you may have.
At the second appointment, the tooth to be crowned is prepared by reducing its size (usually under local anaesthesia), then an impression is taken of the prepared tooth which is sent to a laboratory where the crown will be fabricated. In the meantime, a temporary crown is made and fitted onto the prepared tooth to protect it.
At the third appointment, the temporary crown is removed and the tooth surfaces are cleaned. The newly-made crown is tried on the tooth to ensure a good fit and appearance, as well as harmony with the bite. Then finally, the crown is cemented onto the prepared tooth.
Looking after your crowns
Crowns may be resistant to decay, but the supporting tooth and gums aren’t. Regular brushing and interdental cleaning will help look after your crown.
As long as crowns are looked after carefully, by avoiding very hard foods and thoroughly cleaning teeth, they offer a natural looking restoration that can last for years.
Regular check-ups will enable your dentist to detect any problems with your crown and recommend necessary treatment.