Crowns are an ideal way to rebuild teeth which have been broken, or have been weakened by decay or has very large filling or root canal treatment. The crown fits right over the remaining part of the tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape and contour of a natural tooth. Crowns are sometimes also known as ‘caps’.
What are Crowns Made of?
Crowns are made of a variety of materials and new materials are being introduced all the time. Here are some of the options available at present:
Porcelain bonded to precious metal: this is what most crowns are made from. A precious metal base is made and layers of porcelain are then applied over it.
Full Porcelain: these crowns are the most aesthetic, however are not suitable in all situations.
Precious metal (gold and palladium): these crowns are very strong and hard-wearing, but are usually used at the back of the mouth, where they are not visible.
Will the Crown be Noticeable?
No. The crown will be made to match your other teeth exactly. The shade of the neighbouring teeth will be recorded, to make sure that the colour looks natural and matches the surrounding teeth. A temporary crown, usually made in plastic, will be fitted at the end of the first appointment to last until the permanent one is ready. These temporary crowns may be more noticeable, but they are only in place for about two weeks.
How Long Does the Treatment Take?
You normally require 2 visits about 1-2 weeks apart.
What are the Risks?
If tooth decay is right next to the pulp, the pulp may not be strong enough to make healthy dentine, which surrounds and protects the pulp. If this happens, we may have to remove the pulp.
How Long Will a Crown Last?
The life of a crown will depend on how well it is looked after. The crown itself cannot decay, but decay can start where the edge of the crown joins the tooth. It is very important to keep this area as clean as your other teeth, or decay could endanger the crown. Properly cared for crowns will last for many years – your dentist will be able to advise you in more detail.