If you have a damaged tooth, a crown can be an effective way to restore its appearance and function. A crown may also be a better alternative to a filling if you have lost a significant amount of a tooth through decay or trauma.
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A crown is a tooth-shaped restoration – sometimes called a ‘cap’ – that we can fit on top of a damaged tooth to restore its shape, colour, and size. Crowns can cover the entire tooth or a portion of the tooth - in the latter case it is often termed an ‘onlay’ and is less damaging.
If you have a damaged tooth, or one that has been weakened by decay or a very large filling, a crown may be a better choice than a filling as it will serve to protect what remains by covering the exposed and weak aspects of the tooth. Teeth that have had root canal treatment will frequently be severely damaged. In such cases, you may need a post-crown to return the tooth to form and function – this is when we slot a ‘post’ down the root of the tooth to help hold the crown in place.
Crowns can be made from a range of materials, from gold or a metal alloy to porcelain, ceramic or a special composite. The material we recommend may depend on where in your mouth the crown will be placed.
If you need a crown on a tooth that’s highly visible, we will usually recommend a material such as porcelain that can be made to look completely natural. We can perfect the restoration by colour-matching and shaping it to blend in with your surrounding natural teeth.
Your dentist will need to prepare your tooth to make sure that it’s the ideal shape for your crown. Sometimes this can mean removing some of your natural tooth, usually the same thickness as the crown. We will make every effort to save as much of your tooth as possible.
Impressions of both jaws are taken and forwarded to a dental technician, as well as information about the colour and shape of the restoration.
On receipt of your crown from the laboratory, we will make sure that you are happy with the fit and appearance prior to cementing it in position.
You will need to come into the practice for at least two visits – one to prepare your tooth and take the impressions, and one to fit your crown. You should expect there to be one to two weeks between your appointments. Don’t worry, we’ll create a temporary restoration for you to wear until your final crown is ready.
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Last updated on Sunday 23rd February 2020