If you have teeth that have been extensively or repeatedly filled, you will probably at some stage, need a crown to strengthen them. Traditionally, crowns gave a dark metallic look to teeth but nowadays dental technology has created porcelain crowns which blend in with your other teeth creating a natural look and feel.
A crown is part of a rebuilding process and is also often used when a tooth has broken or become seriously weakened. You might also consider crowns if your fillings have discoloured and you would like to improve the appearance of any of your teeth. It literally fits over the part of the tooth that remains, providing strength and restoring natural shape and contours. Also known as a “cap”, this pretty accurately describes the function of the crown. Sometimes it will be necessary to fit one in order to protect a root filling or to help with retaining a bridge or denture.
Crowns can be made from a variety of different materials which vary in strength but the majority are nowadays constructed by creating a precious metal base and bonding layers of porcelain over it. Porcelain and composite materials can be used without the metal but these will not be as hard wearing, although they sometimes give an improved look from a cosmetic point of view. At The Dental Studio Colchester, we will offer advice on the best option for you to choose in your individual circumstances.
Preparation for fitting a crown involves removing much of the outer surface of a tooth, leaving the inner part intact and shaped to accept the exact thickness of the crown. Impressions are then taken so that the dental technician can make a model of your mouth in order to ensure that the crown fits perfectly. A temporary plastic crown will be needed between the preparation appointment and the second one when the permanent crown is fitted which will be held in place with special dental cement.
No discomfort will be involved as a local anaesthetic is used unless the tooth does not have a nerve in which case anaesthetic may not be needed. Where the tooth has been root filled a post crown will be necessary following root filling. A double ended post is cemented into the root canal with the opposite end holding the crown in place.
Provided you keep your crown clean and look after the rest of your teeth, it should last for many years and even though it is a slightly different shape from the original tooth you will soon forget it is there!