Strengthening your teeth, improving their appearance.
You should consider a dental crown if you’re looking to protect damaged, cracked and worn teeth. A dental crown is a tooth shaped cap that is placed over a tooth covering it to improve its appearance and to restore its shape, size and strength.
A dental crown covers your existing tooth, protecting the entire surface from any further decay or erosion.
Might I need crowns?
To improve the aesthetics of your teeth, crowns should not necessarily be the first treatment of choice, because a dentist needs to grind a significant portion of tooth away. Other options such as veneers or dental bonding are less invasive. However, since veneers and dental bonding restorations are only as strong as the supporting tooth, crowns provide an excellent alternative.
Assessing if you might need crowns involves the following considerations:
- After root canal treatment or dental implant a crown maybe fitted. The crown is often needed to protect the tooth after these treatments.
- Significant decay has occurred and not enough tooth is left to allow a filling.
- For patients with a significant cavity they may opt for the added support a crown offers to the tooth.
- If a major part of the tooth has broken and it is impossible to be built up using normal bonding procedure.
- Their are many reasons why acid erosion can occur such as too much sugar in your diet or poor dental hygiene. They can cause erosion to the point where a crown is the only option to preserve the existing tooth.
- For cosmetic reasons many people choose to have all their teeth enhanced with porcelain crowns.
What are crowns made from?
You will find that nowadays a variety of materials used to make dental crowns. Some crowns are made from metal alloy fixed to a porcelain or ceramic outside. After a period of time crowns made from metal and porcelain / ceramic cause dark lines in the gums can appear that are not very attractive. If you are looking for a natural appearance porcelain or ceramic crowns give the best results.
The costs of dental crowns are usually reflected in your choice of one of the many different types of porcelain crowns on the market.
How long do crowns last?
Dental crowns require the same level of care and attention as your natural teeth. Providing you maintain a good oral hygiene program and attend regular dental check-ups, a high quality dental crown can last 10-15 years.
The cosmetic appearance of crowns is excellent. Think of them as 'restorations'. When cemented into place, they fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line. Choosing crowns means greater confidence in the strength of your teeth and also in your appearance.
Stage One – First you will be provided with a local anaesthesia. Your cosmetic dentist will then remove any decay tooth and reshape it with a special dental drill. The tooth is shaped so as to allow the crown to be positioned over the top of it.
Following the shaping of the tooth an impression is taken using a special molding material'. This mould of your tooth is then used as a reference to produce a new crown to custom fit perfectly for you.
It can usually take two or three weeks to produce your dental crown to your exact specifications. To protect the tooth while your dental crown is being made you will be fitted with a temporary crown. This is to help protect and secure the tooth on a temporary basis.
Stage Two - When you return to your cosmetic dentist for your second appointment the temporary crown will be removed. In order to help the dental cement bond, the outer surface of your prepared tooth will be roughened with a specialist acid used by your cosmetic dentist.
The last stage of the treatment is when the crown will be positioned over the tooth to see if it fits comfortably and the colour matches your existing teeth. Finally once both you and your cosmetic dentist are happy with the look, your crown will be fixed into place.