What is a crown?
A crown (sometimes know as a cap) is an artificial restoration that fits over a prepared tooth. The crown is made to look like a natural tooth and its function is to help keep the remaining tooth structure as strong as possible to make it last longer. Crowns can be used to repair teeth that have been broken or weakened by extensive decay. They can also be used to improve the appearance of a discoloured filling, to add strength to a root filled tooth or to hold a bridge or denture in place.
Crowns are an ideal way to repair teeth that have been broken, or have been weakened by tooth decay or a very large filling.
Using “Polar Eyes” digital photography and working with a specialist dental technician, exceptionally life like restorations can be provided.
What is a crown made of?
Crowns can be made of a variety of different materials the most popular options are:
- Porcelain bonded to precious metal: This is what most crowns are made from. An alloy metal base is made and then porcelain is applied in layers over it in your natural tooth colour to give it aesthetic appeal.
- Porcelain: These are made entirely out of porcelain. They are not as strong as bonded crowns however they look very natural and are most often used for front teeth.
- All-ceramic: These are modern alternative to Porcelain bonded crowns. They are metal-free, but can give the strength of a bonded crown with the appearance of a porcelain crown, which means they are suitable for use in all areas of the mouth.
- Gold-alloy crowns: Gold is one of the oldest filling materials still used today however due to the cost of gold they can be an expensive option. Gold is used with other metal alloys to increase its strength, which makes it very hardwearing. These crowns can be silver or gold in colour.
How is a crown prepared?
The dentist will prepare the tooth by removing a layer of the outer surface, leaving a strong inner core. They will then take an impression of your teeth to send to the lab along with the desired shade. The dentist will make a temporary crown for your tooth until the final crown has been prepared by the lab. You will then have an appointment to cement into place the final crown.
What is a post crown?
If a tooth is root filled and heavily restored it may be necessary to insert a post into the root of the tooth before placing a crown. This provides support to the crown and helps the crown to stay in place. The surface of the tooth may be removed down to the level of the gum. The post is placed into the root canal and cemented in position, ready for the crown to be attached.
How long do crown appointments take?
You will need to have at least two appointments for a crown. At the first appointment, your dentist will prepare the tooth, take the impressions, take the shade of your tooth, and fit a temporary crown. At the second appointment, your dentist will fit the permanent crown. There will usually be 2 weeks between appointments.