Dental Crowns

What are dental crowns?

A dental crown (sometimes known as a cap) is a device that a dentist fixes over an existing tooth. It generally functions to cover a tooth that has been damaged, usually in the form of cracking, breaking or splitting or if the tooth has a very large filling and/or root canal. The crown serves to reinforce the tooth so it doesn't break further, and keeps it strong so it can be used for chewing.

Can anyone get dental crowns?

People who are good candidates for dental crowns may have yellow or discoloured teeth, misshapen teeth, or broken or cracked teeth. Furthermore, people with healthy gums are the best candidates for dental crowns, as the gums will still be holding the teeth in place after the crowns are attached. If a patient has healthy gums we will first work with them to improve their gum health before proceeding with dental crowns.

What is involved in the dental crown procedure?

Prior to the procedure, the health of your teeth and gums will be assessed carefully by your dentist. Often a small digital x-ray is taken of the tooth to be crowned.

The tooth needing the crown is carefully shaped to allow enough space for the crown which will cover the tooth. Modern methods involve maintaining as much as the natural tooth structure when preparing the tooth.

This is all done using local anaesthetic so that no pain is experienced during the procedure. Very nervous patients may also opt to have sedation for the procedure but this is not normally necessary.

A small impressions is taken of the carefully shaped tooth and sent to our experienced local lab technician. A provisional crown is placed over the tooth while the crown is manufactured. The newly made crown is then cemented over the tooth.

What are the advantages of dental crowns?

These devices will serve to strengthen cracked or broken teeth, and can also improve the appearance of your smile.

How long will dental crowns last?

In people with good oral hygiene, dental crowns can last a lifetime. However, this will often depend upon the patient maintaining good oral hygiene and diet to maintain the health of the tooth under the crown. You can expect your crown to last many years, and your dentist will advise you on the state of your crown should you need a replacement.