WHAT IS A DENTAL CROWN?
Teeth can be weakened for many reasons, most commonly tooth decay, trauma to a tooth (i.e a fall), root canal treated teeth, teeth with large fillings and teeth that are worn. A dental crown is a hollow shell that covers or caps a specially prepared tooth. It is usually the best way to save and strengthen a tooth that is severely weakened.
A dental crown restores the shape and size of a tooth, strengthening it in the process. A crown will reinforce your tooth to make sure it can tolerate chewing forces. Without a crown, your tooth will break and may need to be extracted.
WHAT IS A DENTAL CROWN MADE OF
Usually the material of choice is porcelain and gold alloy. Porcelain is strong tooth-coloured material which can be made to match your natural tooth colour. It is resistant to staining and is commonly used for front teeth and also most back teeth. Gold alloy is used when more strength is required, such as for molars or if you have a strong bite (grinding). Our dentists will give you the best option suited for your teeth.
HOW IS A DENTAL CROWN MADE?
Our dentists will first require x-ray examination of your mouth and detailed medical and dental history.
Sometimes, before a tooth is fit for a crown, the pre-existing filling may need to be replaced. Sometimes a root canal treatment and post may be required also. You will need at least two visits for your crown to be made.
PREPARATION FOR A CROWN
The tooth that needs a crown is firstly numbed using local anaesthetic. Our dentists will then shape the tooth using a drill, making it smaller on all sides by 1-2 millimetres. After the tooth is shaped, another more accurate impression is taken from the tooth and surrounding teeth. This new impression is then sent to a dental technician who will custom-make the crown for your tooth.
Our dentists will then make a temporary crown to cover and protect your prepared tooth, and will temporarily cement this crown on. You will need to take care not to eat on this temporary crown, because it is weak and may dislodge.
INSERTING THE PERMANENT CROWN
Our dentists will first need to remove your temporary crown (usually no drilling is required to do this). The new crown is then placed over the tooth and the dentist will need to check its fit and colour. If the fit and colour is right, the dentist will cement the crown onto the tooth with dental cement. This cement sets after one hour, and reaches full strength after 24 hours. the dentist will then need to check the bite and you should let your dentist know if the bite does not feel right.