A dental crown is an artificial restoration that fits over the remaining part of a prepared tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape of a natural tooth. A crown is sometimes known as a ‘cap’.
Crowns are used to repair teeth damaged by decay or trauma. Porcelain crowns can restore up to 98% of the use of a damaged tooth and 100% of its appearance.
Porcelain crowns are now more popular because they are more aesthetically pleasing and depending on what exactly they’re made from, can be equally strong and durable. Porcelain crowns are often used to replace unsightly metal crowns.
To place a crown, our cosmetic dentist will carefully reshape your existing tooth so that the crown will have a natural appearance and close fit. Through the use of sophisticated materials and technology, an experienced cosmetic dentist can fit you with a porcelain crown that looks feels and functions exactly like your natural tooth.
How is a tooth prepared for a crown?
The dentist will prepare the tooth to the ideal shape for the crown. This will mean removing most of the outer surface, and leaving a strong inner ‘core’. The amount of the tooth removed will be the same as the thickness of the crown to be fitted. Once the tooth is shaped, the dentist 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 be given to the technician, along with any other information they need to make the crown.
Who makes the crown?
The impressions and information about the shade of your teeth will be given to a dental technician who will be skilled in making crowns. They will make models of your mouth and make the crown on these to be sure that the crown fits perfectly.
Will the crown be noticeable?
No. The crown will be made to match your other teeth exactly. The shade of the neighbouring teeth will be recorded, to make sure that the colour looksnatural and matches the surrounding teeth. A temporary crown, usually made in plastic, will be fitted at the end of the first appointment to last until the permanent one is ready. These temporary crowns may be more noticeable, but they are only in place for about two weeks.
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.
Does it hurt to have a tooth prepared for a crown?
No. A local anaesthetic is used and the preparation should feel no different from a filling. If the tooth does not have a nerve, and a post crown is being prepared, then local anaesthetic may not be needed.
How long will a crown last?
The life of a crown will depend on how well it is looked after. The crown itself cannot decay, but decay can start where the edge of the crown joins the tooth. It is very important to keep this area as clean as your other teeth, or decay could endanger the crown. Properly cared for crowns will last for many years – your dentist will be able to tell you how long.
How are crowns fixed to teeth?
Once the fit and appearance of the crown has been checked – and approved by you – it will be cemented in place with special dental cement. The cement also forms a seal to help hold it firmly in place.
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. Within a few days it should feel fine, and you will not notice it. The crown may need some adjustment if it feels higher than the surrounding teeth. If it is at all uncomfortable ask your dentist to check and adjust it.
Are there any risks to having a crown?
Most risks with dental treatment are minimised by following clinical protocols. If the tooth has been really compromised the nerve may die and need root canal treatment. If cleaning around the crown is not maintained then gum disease and decay can occur under a crown