Sometimes known as a caps, crowns are carefully fitted sleeves that sit over an existing tooth to protect it from further damage, and to improve your overall smile.
Crowns can hold cracked teeth together and support bridges, and they are often applied as the final step in root canal treatment. They can also cover discoloured teeth to improve the appearance of your teeth.
Reasons you may need a crown?
A crown is likely to be required if there is no longer enough healthy tooth tissue left to sufficiently hold a filling or used to cover and protect damaged or weak teeth. They can also improve the appearance of misshapen or discoloured teeth and act as protective sleeve which fits over your remaining tooth. A crown may also be placed as the final stage following root canal treatment, as this has proven to be the most successful way of sealing and protecting the tooth.
Preparation time will vary depending on the condition of the damaged tooth. Your tooth will be carefully reshaped, to ensure that it can carry the crown. In most cases we will take a digital scan of the tooth. This is not only exceptionally accurate, but will also avoid the need for impressions to be taken, mitigating any discomfort. The scan is then received in our state-of-the-art digital laboratory where our team of technician’s use sophisticated computers to design your custom crown. These computers will then craft, mill and colour the crown to match the adjacent teeth. Treatment is usually provided over 2 visits. After the tooth is prepared and the digital scan or analogue impression is taken at the first appointment, a temporary crown is worn to protect the tooth for around 2 weeks while the crown is made.
What are crowns made from?
The application of crowns is one of the longest-standing dental procedures. We can date their use back to the 5th century and the ancient Etruscans, who used gold and silver to ‘cap’ problem teeth. Dental techniques have developed since then, and in today’s practices crowns can be made from a variety of materials:
- Metal, including gold alloy and other metal-based alloys
- Porcelain fused to metal (known as PFM)
- Porcelain fused to zirconia
We recommend the use of porcelain crowns, as they are durable and can be crafted to match the natural shade of your teeth.
How long will a crown last?
A permanent crown can last between five and 15 years, depending on your habits, lifestyle and oral care routine. Teeth grinding can put pressure on a crown, leading to cracks and possible damage. If you know that you suffer from clenching or grinding, speak to your Terrace Dental Care dentist; they will be able to provide you with advice and possible solutions (such as a mouthguard) to help protect your crown and keep it looking its best into the future.
How shall I look after my crown?
You can treat your crown like a normal tooth. While it does not require any particular care, remember that it acts as a sleeve over the top of your natural tooth and so decay and gum disease can still occur without a good oral health routine. Keep up regular visits to your local Newmarket dental practice and remember to continue to floss around the tooth. When flossing, try to pull the floss through your teeth rather than upwards – sometimes pulling up and out can catch on your crown and contribute to wear and tear.
At Terrace Dental Care we now offer a new type of crown designed by computerised technology (CEREC). The crown is milled on our premises and fitted on the same day.
Traditionally, these restorations would take multiple appointments and involve a technician.
A specialist digital camera is used to capture images of the patient’s teeth. This allows ceramic crowns, fillings or veneers to be designed virtually on a computer.
Cerec can also be combined with 3D X-ray technology to make customized templates for guided implant placement.
This provides many benefits for individuals undergoing implant treatment including a shorter operation and healing time. In most cases, there is no need to expose the patient’s jaw bone as implant site preparation and placement can be carried out through the gum.
This means that moulds, a second appointment, and a temporary crown are no longer necessary. The crowns are made from porcelain or reinforced glass. In the future zirconia crowns will be available.
Crowns are made to match the other teeth as closely as possible. The shape of the crown also matches the adjacent teeth. Because the material of the crown is different to the adjacent teeth you may be aware of it for a few days. Occasionally you may need to return for adjustments.
It is important that you look after the crown as you would the rest of your teeth by cleaning it with fluoride toothpaste, and flossing around it. You should avoid eating sticky foods that may loosen the glue. Properly looked after crowns should last many years.
If you think that you require crowns, or would like further information on the procedure, contact Terrace Dental Care in Newmarket today.