What is a dental crown?
A crown is used to cap over an existing tooth which may have broken or decayed. The crown restores the tooth in terms of shape and natural colour.
When is a crown needed?
Crowns are used when a repair is needed to a tooth that has been broken or has become weak due to decay. Teeth with large fillings can also need a crown eventually if further decay around the filling is present. Crowns are also used for other reasons including:
- To cover up a discoloured tooth to improve its appearance.
- To protect what is left of a tooth after a root filling.
What are crowns made from?
Crowns are made from a number of different materials, with the most popular including:
Porcelain bonded onto metal.
- Ceramic – this provides a metal free alternative option.
- Gold alloy
As the crown fits, or caps onto to an existing tooth, the dentist will prepare the tooth for the crown to be fitted.
An impression or mould is then taken of the tooth which has been prepared. This mould is then given to a dental technician to create the crown. The colour of the crown will also be matched to the natural teeth colour of the patient.
Post crowns are used in root filled teeth. A post is inserted into the tooth which provides support to the crown, helping it to remain in place.
Once you and the dentist are happy with the crown in terms of its appearance and colour, it will be secured permanently in position using a strong dental cement.
Crowns usually require two appointments. The first will be used to take measurements and impressions of the tooth to be capped as well as the colour shade. The tooth will also be shaped and prepared on this visit. On the second visit, the crown will be fitted and secured with the adhesive. You can expect 1-3 weeks between appointments.
Is there any pain when having crown prepartion done?
A local anaesthetic will usually be given to avoid any pain while the preparation work for a crown is carried out.
How much do crowns cost?
Costs for crowns depend on the type needed and which material is used to make them. Ask your dentist for a written estimate of costs and a treatment plan.
Care for your crown
Crowns should be cleaned in the same way as you would for your existing natural teeth. Crowns aren’t susceptible to decay but the join between the crown and tooth can be a starting point for decay.
Crowns when looked after properly should last for many years.