Dental crowns are restorations that can be used to make a crooked smile appear straighter or repair broken or damaged teeth. A crown can also be placed on an implant to replace a missing tooth. A crown strengthens the existing damaged tooth, thus preserving its functionality.
Crowns are often used side-by-side with veneers in a full-mouth restorative treatment.
Why have a crown?
You may have a crown for various different reasons:
- Your tooth may have undergone significant decay.
- If a large proportion of your tooth is fractured and cannot be built back on.
- If you have had a dental implant a crown will be fitted onto the abutment of the implant.
- A crown may be put onto a tooth following root canal treatment to protect and strengthen the tooth.
- Crowns may also be used for cosmetic reasons.
The main need for a dental crown is when the strength of a supporting tooth is compromised. A crown shouldn’t be the first option for cosmetic reasons as large amounts of the tooth are ground away in preparation for the crown placement. If correctly looked after a crown can last for 10-15 years.
What’s the procedure?
Crowns are usually placed over two appointments.
You will first have an initial consultation with your dentist where all treatment options will be discussed. If it is decided that a crown is the best treatment route for you, your tooth will be prepared for a crown placement.
The first stage is to clean the tooth, remove any decay and reshape – which is usually completed under local anaesthetic.
Once the tooth is prepared and impression of your teeth will be taken and sent off to a dental laboratory. This impression is the guide the dental technician will use to fabricate your new crown to fit perfectly. Your crown may take a few weeks to be made so in the meantime your dentist will fit you with a temporary crown.
On your second visit your temporary crown will be removed and the outer surface of your prepared tooth will be made rough so that the dental cement has a good surface to bond to. Your dentist will simply sit the crown over the prepared tooth to see if it fits correctly and to make sure you are happy with the aesthetics of the crown. Once you are both happy with everything, your dentist will cement the crown firmly into place.
For approximate prices please see our fee guide.