What are crowns?
A Crown of the tooth is the part which is visible in the mouth. An artificial crown is a restoration that covers or ‘caps’ a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, strengthening and improving the appearance of a tooth. Crowns are necessary when a tooth is generally broken down and fillings won’t solve the problem. If a tooth is cracked, a crown hold the tooth together to seal the crack so the damage doesn’t get worse. Crowns are also used to support a large filling when there isn’t enough of the tooth remaining, attaching a bridge, protect weak teeth from fracturing, restore fractured teeth or cover badly shaped or discoloured teeth.
Crowns are made of metal or porcelain, or porcelain with a metal inside for strength.
What will my Dentist do?
He or she will shape the tooth so that, with the artificial crown, it will be the same size as a normal tooth.
Preparation time will depend on how damaged the tooth is and whether it needs to be built up with filling first.
The tooth might have to be root-filled first. The crown is sometimes held in place by a peg in the root canal if a lot if the tooth is missing.
Your dentist will use a soft, mouldable material to make exact ‘impressions’ of the tooth that is to crowned and the nearby teeth. A dental technician uses the impressions to make the crown the exact height and size needed.
A temporary crown made of plastic or metal is put over the tooth until the permanent crown is made. You can chew on a temporary crown but it won’t be as strong as the finished one.
When the crown is fitted, your dentist will make small adjustments to make sure you can bite comfortably. The crown is tried on first and then cemented into place.
Will it look natural?
The dentist’s main aim is to create crowns that look like natural teeth. That is why dentist takes impression. To achieve a certain look, a number of factors are considered, such as the colour, bite, shape and length of your natural teeth. Any one of these factors alone can affect your appearance.
If you have a certain cosmetic look in mind for your crown, discuss it with your dentist on your first appointment.
How should I take care of my crowns?
To prevent damaging or fracturing the crown, avoid chewing hard food, ice or other hard objects. You also want to avoid teeth grinding. Regular visits to your dentist and brushing twice a day, cleaning between your teeth is vital with crown. Floss or interdental brushes are important tools to remove plaque, if you are unsure what is the best method of cleaning for you feel free you discuss this with your hygienist.
What are the benefits?
A crown is strong and can look and feel exactly like a natural tooth. The colour and shape can be matched to your own teeth.
Depending on the strength of the tooth underneath, a crown can last for many years if you look after your month and teeth and the crown is not accidentally damaged.
Crowns can also improve the appearance of the misshapen or discoloured teeth.