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Treatments - Crowns

What is a crown?

A crown is simply a cap that is placed over a tooth and held in place by dental adhesive or cement. These can be fitted for several reason, such as:

  • A protective covering for badly decayed teeth or fractured teeth.
  • A permanent restoration for teeth with large fillings.
  • In order to correct minor problems with the natural teeth, such as, spacing, irregular shape or severe discolouration.

What are crowns made from?

Tooth crowns can be made from a variety of materials. They can be made from plastic, ceramic or metal alloys. A combination of metal and ceramic is also possible to maximise strength and replicate the appearance of natural teeth.

How are crowns made?

In order to ensure the tooth crown will fit perfectly, firstly, a thorough clinical examination is conducted with radiographs, by the dentist. The suitability for crowns is assessed and any preparatory work is carried out on your teeth. Your dentist will also be able to advise on the best material choices, treatment sequence and answer and questions or concerns you may have.

At the second appointment, the teeth needing 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 tested on the tooth for fit, harmony with the bite, and appearance. Finally, the crown is cemented onto the prepared tooth with dental cement.

How long do crowns last and how do I care for them?

Crowns are made of inert materials that do not deteriorate over time. However, the underlying tooth is still prone to decay and gum disease.

Ceramic on the surface could potentially chip or fracture. Avoid chewing excessively hard substances like ice or bones. Daily brushing and flossing are essential for maintaining good oral health as well as keeping the crown trouble-free. The most vulnerable portion of the crown is the crown meets the natural tooth, try to take care of this area as best as possible.

Regular check-ups will enable your dentist to detect any problems with your crown and recommend necessary treatments needed.

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