A Dental Crown (sometimes also known as a Cap) covers a tooth to correct its shape, form or colour. It restores the tooth’s shape, size, strength and/or improves its appearance.
A Dental Crown, when cemented into place, fully encases the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
Why does my tooth need a Crown?
A tooth may require a Dental Crown for the following reasons:
- Protect a weak tooth from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
- Restore a broken or worn tooth
- Cover and support a tooth with a large filling
- Hold a dental bridge in place
What Types of Crowns Are Available?
When we fabricate a Dental Crown, it can be All Metal, Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal or All Ceramic. So, there is always one that will suit everyone and all situations.
Metals used in fabrication of Dental Crowns include gold alloy or a base-metal alloy (for example, nickel or chromium). Gold Crowns withstand biting and chewing forces very well and probably last the longest in terms of wear down. Also, Gold Crowns rarely chip or break. The metallic colour is the main drawback. Metal Dental Crowns are a good choice for out-of-sight molars.
Metal Fused to Porcelain Crowns
Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Dental Crowns will match the colour of their adjacent teeth (unlike the Metallic Crowns). However, slightly greater wearing to the opposing teeth occurs with this Crown type compared with metal or resin Crowns. The crown’s porcelain portion can also chip or break off. Next to all-ceramic Crowns, Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crowns look most like normal teeth. However, sometimes the metal underlying the Crown’s porcelain can show through as a dark line, especially at the gum line and even more so if your gums recede. These crowns can be a good choice for front or back teeth.
All Ceramic Crowns
All-Ceramic or All-Porcelain Dental Crowns provide the best natural colour match than any other Crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies. However, they are not as strong as Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crowns and they wear down opposing teeth a little more than Metal or Resin Crowns. All-Ceramic Crowns are a good choice for front teeth.
How is Crown Procedure done?
Preparing a tooth for a Crown usually requires two visits to the dentist, the first step involves examining and preparing the tooth, the second visit involves placement of the permanent Crown.
First Visit: Examining and preparing the tooth
We will carefully assess the tooth that will receive a dental crown to see if it also requires any other treatments. This may include root canal treatment or treatment to resolve any pre-existing gum problems.
Firstly, we anaesthetise your tooth and the gum tissue around the tooth. Then we very carefully shape your tooth. The amount removed depends on the type of Dental Crown that we will use (for instance, All-Metal Crowns are thinner, requiring less tooth structure removal than All-Porcelain Crowns or Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crowns). If, on the other hand, a large area of the tooth is missing (due to decay or damage), we will use filling material to “build up” the tooth to support the Dental Crown.
After shaping the tooth, we will take the impression or mould of the tooth to receive the Crown.
Our dental technician will use this impression and fabricate the Dental Crown for your tooth. This may take one to two weeks. We will send you home with a well-fitting temporary Dental Crown so that you can continue to use your tooth during the time the Dental Crown is made.
Second Visit: Fitting the permanent Dental Crown
At your second visit, your dentist will check the fit and colour of the permanent crown. If everything is acceptable, a local anaesthetic will be used to numb the tooth, your dentist will remove the temporary Crown and the new Crown is permanently cemented in.
How long does a Dental Crown last?
You should expect a well fitting Dental Crown to work reliably well for over a decade. The life span of a Dental Crown depends on the amount of “wear and tear” a particular Dental Crown undergoes. Also how well you follow good oral hygiene practices will affect the life expectancy of your Dental Crown. Finally, your personal mouth-related habits such as grinding or clenching your teeth will have a significant effect on the prognosis of your Dental Crown.
To find out more about Dental Crowns or to book an appointment at Krystal Dental, call 020 8995 6398 or email to email@example.com