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What is a crown?
A crown is sometimes known as a cap. A crown is an artificial restoration that fits over the prepared tooth, rather like a jacket. A crown gives a tooth strength and is made to match the original shape of the tooth.
Why would I need a crown?
A crown could be used for a number of other reasons, but mainly they restore teeth that have been broken, or have been weakened by decay or a very large filling. Teeth are sometimes crowned post root canal treatment for protection and they improve the appearance of discolored teeth dramatically.
What is a post crown?
In root-filled teeth it may be necessary to insert a post before placing a crown. A post provides support and helps the crown stay in place. The post is placed into the root canal and cemented in position, ready for the crown to be attached.
What is a crown made of?
Most crowns are made from porcelain bonded to precious metal. A precious metal base is made and then porcelain is applied in layers over it. Porcelain fused to metal mix and porcelain fused to gold are commonly used crowns.
Crowns can be made of a variety of different materials and new materials are continually being introduced. We have listed some of the most popular options below:
These are made entirely out of porcelain and are not as strong as bonded crowns but can look very natural and most often used for front teeth.
This modern technique offers a metal-free alternative, which can give the strength of a bonded crown and the appearance of a porcelain crown. These are very effective in the form of inlays for molars that need restoration and strength.
Circonium oxide crowns
This is a superior material. It is the most durable and has the most natural properties of all materials.
How is a crown prepared?
The dentist will prepare the tooth to the ideal shape for the crown. Much of the outer surface is removed, leaving a strong core. Once the tooth is shaped, we will take an impression of the prepared tooth; one of the opposite jaw and possibly another to mark the way you bite together. The impressions will then be given to our dental lab, along with the appropriate shade for the crowns to be made.
What will happen between visits?
A temporary crown will be made so that you can use the tooth while you wait for the crown to be made. This crown cannot be strongly cemented on, so it is advisable to avoid certain foods to prevent the temporary crown from becoming loose.
How is the crown fitted?
The crown is fixed in place with special dental cement or adhesive. The cement forms a seal to hold the crown in place.
How long does the treatment take?
You will need to have at least two visits: the first for the preparation, impression, shade taking and fitting the temporary crown; and the second to fit the permanent crown. This can be completed within a working week.
Will the crown be noticeable?
No. The crown will be made to match your other teeth exactly so that the colour will resemble that of the surrounding teeth.
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 to begin with. The crown may need some adjustment if your bite does not feel comfortable, so ask the dentist to check and adjust it if necessary.
How do I care for my crown?
You will need to look after the crown in the same way as you look after your natural teeth. Therefore, clean the area where the crown connects with the gum in order to prevent decay affecting the crown.
How long will the crown last?
Properly cared for crowns should last for many years, in general between 10 and 15 years.