A crown, also called a cap, is a hollow, artificial tooth used to cover a damaged or decayed tooth. The crown restores the tooth and protects it from further damage. Crowns can also be used to cover a discoloured or misshapen tooth. A dental crown treated tooth that has been fixed with a crown looks and works very much like a natural tooth.
What are crowns?
Crowns sit on top of your original tooth. Dental crown treatment is used to repair and protect damaged or weak teeth. When damage has occurred, your dentist will remove the weakened part of the tooth and prepare it so it’s equipped to hold the crown.
Depending on where in your mouth the crown is being fitted, they can be made from either metal, or metal covered in porcelain, or completely from porcelain and accordingly dental crown cost varies. Porcelain crowns are used when the treatment is being carried out on a tooth that’s towards the front of your mouth, so it’s practically impossible to tell it apart from your natural teeth.
How a crown is done?
1.Your dentist gives you a local anesthetic.
2.To make room for the crown, your dentist files the tooth that needs to be restored.
3.An impression of the filed-down tooth and nearby teeth is taken. This impression is used to custom make your final crown. The crown is built using restorative material (material used for fillings) based on the impression. The final crown will be the right shape for your mouth.
4.Until your final crown is ready, your dentist places a temporary crown over the tooth that needs to be restored. The temporary crown is made from an impression of your tooth before it was filed down. It protects your tooth until the final crown is ready. A temporary crown may not have the same shape and colour as a final crown.
5.On your next visit, your dentist takes off the temporary crown and replaces a dental crown. Your dentist checks to make sure the crown is the right fit, shape, colour and bite. If it is, your dentist cements the crown into place.
Different types of crowns
Crowns are made from various types of materials. Depending on which tooth needs a crown, your dentist will suggest a material, or combination of materials, that is right for you.
Metal crowns are made of gold. They generally last a long time and won’t chip or break. They tend not to wear down your opposing natural teeth. However, the gold colour does not look natural, particularly on front teeth.
Composite crowns look natural. They won’t chip as easily as porcelain crowns, but they tend to wear more quickly from chewing. Tooth brushing tends to remove the highly polished surface of composite crowns and this causes them to stain more easily.
Porcelain crowns look the most natural. They are more brittle than metal or composite and may chip more easily. Because of this, they are not usually placed on back teeth.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look natural and are stronger than porcelain or composite crowns. They won’t chip as easily as porcelain or ceramic crowns. However, depending on their design, the metal may show if your gums are thin or shrink.
Why Do We Crown Teeth?
The main reasons for restoring teeth with crowns are:
- To strengthen a badly broken down or weakened tooth,
- Worn or fractured teeth can be restored to their original contour.
- Spaces can be filled and a more regular appearance restored or created.
- To improve the appearance of a badly broken down or heavily filled tooth,
- Highly discoloured and stained teeth can be improved,
- Poorly positioned teeth can be built forward.
- To support the end/s of a bridge which is replacing other missing teeth.
If your dentist recommends a crown, it is probably to correct one of these conditions. Your dentist’s primary concern, like yours, is helping you keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright.