What is a dental crown?
A dental crown is a porcelain or metal restoration made to cover an existing tooth. It is also commonly known as a cap. It is often used in cases where teeth have been weakened or damaged due to decay, injury or trauma. Crowns also be used for cosmetic reasons.
Why would I need a crown?
You may need a dental crown if your tooth is decayed or weak due to an injury or a large filling. They are also often placed after root canal treatment or over a very dark tooth to improve the appearance. Dental implants are also restored with dental crowns.
What materials are used?
The most common dental crown material used is porcelain bonded to metal, but crowns can also be made entirely from ceramic materials or precious metals. Porcelain is used because it can be matched to the same colour as your own natural teeth, while metal fixtures are hard-wearing and can sometimes be recommended for molar teeth.
What happens during the treatment?
Any fractures or decay in the tooth are repaired first. Then the crown of the tooth has a around 1 mm removed from the entire surface. An impression is then taken and a temporary crown fitted. The impression is sent to the dental laboratory where it is used to make a new crown. A week or so later the dentist will remove your temporary crown and swap it for the new crown which is cemented into place with a strong cement.The entire treatment involves only two visits.
Will the crown be noticeable or feel any different?
The crown will be matched to a similar shade to your own teeth so that it blends in as naturally as possible. The crown may feel slightly different to the original tooth but this is not usually a problem and after a few days most patients do not notice this.
How long does a crown last?
Dental crowns, like natural teeth, can last for many years if they are well looked after. This means good oral hygiene, avoiding sugary foods and drinks, and attending the dentist regularly.
What is a post-crown?
A post-crown has a small post that is cemented onto the root of a root treated tooth. The crown is then cemented over this post. A post crown will look and feel like a normal crown.