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Dental Crowns

Dental Crowns

What is a crown?

A crown is a cap that is placed over a tooth and held in place by dental adhesive or cement.

Crowns are used for several reasons:

  • as a protective cover for badly decayed teeth or fractured teeth
  • as a permanent restoration for teeth with large fillings
  • to correct minor problems in natural teeth like spacing and irregular shape or severe discolouration.

What are crowns made from?

Porcelain: these crowns are made entirely out of porcelain and are not as strong as bonded crowns. But they can look very natural and are most often used for front teeth.

All-ceramic: this modern technique offers a metal-free alternative, which can give the strength of a bonded crown and the appearance of a porcelain crown. Suitable for use in all areas of the mouth.

Gold-alloy crowns: gold is one of the oldest filling materials. Today it is used with other metal alloys to increase its strength, which makes it very hardwearing. These crowns are silver or gold in colour.

How are crowns made?

This takes place over three separate appointments.

At the first appointment, your dentist will assess your mouth to determine if it is suitable for crowns. They will also advise on you material choices, treatment sequence and any other concerns you may have.

At the second appointment, the teeth to be crowned are prepared. This involves reduction of the tooth size (usually under local anaesthesia) followed by an impression or mould of the prepared tooth.  This trimming of the tooth is required to create space for the crown to be fitted.  The mould taken is then sent to a laboratory where skilled technicians will fabricate the crown. In the meantime, a temporary crown is made and fitted onto the trimmed tooth.

At the third appointment, the temporary crown is removed and the tooth surfaces cleaned.  The completed crown is tried on the tooth for fit, harmony with the bite, and appearance.  Finally, the crown is cemented onto the prepared tooth with dental cement.

Will the crown be noticeable?

The crown will be made to match your other teeth as closely as possible. The shade of the surrounding teeth will be recorded, to make sure that the colour looks natural and matches those teeth.