Dental Crowns

WHAT IS A DENTAL CROWN?

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped 'cap' that is placed over a tooth- to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength and improve its appearance. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum.

WHY IS A DENTAL CROWN NEEDED?

A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:
1. To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold Together parts of a cracked tooth
2. To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
3. To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn't a lot of tooth left
4. To hold a dental bridge in place
5. To cover misshapen or severely discoloured teeth
6. To cover a dental implant
7. To make a cosmetic modification

WHAT TYPES OF CROWNS ARE AVAILABLE?

Permanent crowns can be made from stainless steel, all metal (such asgold or another alloy), porcelain-fused-to-metal, all resin, or all ceramic.

  • Metals used in crowns include gold alloy, other alloys (for example,palladium), or a base-metal alloy (for example, nickel or chromium). Compared with other crown types, less toothstructure needs to be removed with metal crowns, and tooth wear to opposingteeth is kept to a minimum. Metal crowns withstand biting and chewing forceswell and probably last the longest in terms of wear down. Also, metal crownsrarely chip or break. The metallic colour is the main drawback. Metal crownsare a good choice for out-of-sight molars.

WHAT TYPES OF CROWNS ARE AVAILABLE? cont.

  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can be colour matched to your adjacent teeth (unlike the metallic crowns). However, more wearing to the opposing teeth occurs with this crown type compared with metal or resin crowns. The crown's porcelainportion can also chip or break off. Next to all-ceramic crowns,porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look most like normal teeth. However, sometimesthe metal underlying the crown's porcelain can show through as a dark line,especially at the gum line andeven more so if your gums recede. These crownscan be a good choice for front or back teeth.

WHAT TYPES OF CROWNS ARE AVAILABLE? cont.

  • All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide better natural colour match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies. However, they are not as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns and they wear down opposing teeth a little more than metal or resin crowns. All-ceramic crowns are a good choice for front teeth.

WHAT STEPS ARE INVOLVED IN PREPARING A TOOTH FOR A CROWN?

Preparing a tooth for a crown usually requires two visits to your dentist at Highworth Dental Care.

FIRST VISIT: EXAMINING AND PREPARING THE TOOTH.

At the first visit in preparation for a crown, your dentist at Highworth Dental Care may take a few X-rays to check the roots of the tooth receiving the crown and surrounding bone.

Before the process of making a crown begins, your dentist will anaesthetise (numb) the tooth and the gum tissue around the tooth. Next, the tooth receiving the crown is filed down along the chewing surface and sides to make room for the crown. The amount removed depends on the type of crown used(for instance, all-metal crowns are thinner and require less tooth structure removal than all-porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal ones). If, on the other hand, a large area of the tooth is missing (due to decay or damage), your dentist will use filling material to "build up" the tooth to support the crown.



FIRST VISIT: EXAMINING AND PREPARING THE TOOTH.Cont.

After reshaping the tooth, your dentist will use a paste or putty to make an impression of the tooth to receive the crown. Impressions of the teeth above and below the tooth to receive the dental crown will also be made to make sure that the crown will not affect your bite.

The impressions are sent to one of our skilled dental technicians where the crown will be made bespoke to you. The crown is usually returned to us in two to three weeks. If the crown is made of porcelain, your
dentist will also select the shade that most closely matches the colour of the neighbouring teeth. During this first visit your dentist will make a temporary crown to cover and protect the prepared tooth while the crown is being made. Temporary crowns usually are made of acrylic and are held in place using a temporary cement.

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