Dental Crowns are restorations that protect cracked, damaged or compromised teeth. The crown strengthens your existing damaged tooth therefore helping to preserve it. Crowns are also known as caps and this helps in their explanation: A crown sits over your tooth like a baseball cap would cover your head! A crown typically lasts for 10 – 15 years if you treat it well.
Who needs Dental Crowns?
- If you have tooth decay but not enough tooth structure to support a filling.
- If a large portion of your tooth is fractured off and can’t be repaired by using composite bonding techniques.
- If you have a dental implant the crown is fitted to the titanium implant.
- Following root canal treatment you may need a crown to offer strength.
- If your teeth have been damaged by excessive grinding or acid erosion.
- For cosmetic reasons to improve your smile. Crowns are not the first choice as the dentist needs to grind a significant portion of the original tooth away. Dental bonding techniques and veneers are a much better choice.
Types of dental crowns:
- Full gold: Often regarded as the best long term solution by dentists due to their durability. They are made in a lab and so having them fitted will require at least 2 visits to the dentist.
- Metal alloy fused to porcelain: Look more natural but tend to discolour with age which is unattractive.
- Full porcelain: Best for a natural cosmetic look and can also be made by special equipment in the lab meaning only a single visit to the dentist is required.
- Procern – Very natural looking crown made by covering alumina or zironia with ceramic. Very effective crown.
The Procedure: Dental crowns:
- First the tooth is cleaned, removed of decay and reshaped under a local anaesthetic.
- The shape of the tooth is usually tapered to allow the crown to sit easily over it.
- Once the tooth is prepared an impression/mould is taken using a special dental ‘putty’. This impression is then sent to the lab that uses it to make your custom made crown which should fit perfectly.
- The crown can take up to 2 weeks to make and therefore you will be fitted with a temporary one in the meantime. If the dentist has in house facilities to make the crown then it can all be done in one visit and therefore you will not need a temporary crown.
- Once the crown has been made, the temporary crown (if one was fitted) is removed and the prepared tooth is roughened up to ensure the dental cement bonds well.
- If the crown fits perfectly and the colour and shape match your teeth then the dentist will firmly cement the tooth in place.
Factors affecting the price: Dental crowns:
- Type of crown.
- Any additional work that may be required e.g. a pin required to anchor the crown.