Crowns – what you need to know
A dental crown is essentially a cap used to cover weak, decayed or broken teeth. If you have a tooth that is decayed to the point of cracking or breaking, a dental crown will likely be one option available to restore strength to the tooth. Dental crowns are affixed to the affected tooth with a strong material that not only keeps the crown in place, but also protects the tooth down to the gum line.
What’s involved with getting a crown?
X-rays are generally performed to determine the condition of the tooth in question. It is essential to evaluate the tooth above the gum line as well as the underlying root and bone structure. X-rays are part of the process which assists in reducing the risk for any complication, such as infection.
Your dentist will use a local anaesthetic to numb the area of the affected tooth before trimming the tooth down to prepare it for the crown. If your tooth is too decayed or broken down, the dentist may use a filler treatment to increase the tooth’s surface area so the crown can be securely applied. After the tooth is prepared, an impression is taken so that a customised crown can be moulded to fit over the tooth. It is not uncommon for there to be a period of a few weeks wait before your crown is fitted. Whilst you wait for your customised crown, your dentist will apply a temporary crown to protect the tooth until the permanent one is in place.
The final fitting of a crown is less involved than the initial preparation. Once again, a local anaesthetic will be applied to the area and your dentist will use a cement-like material to affix the crown to your tooth.
What are dental crowns made from?
Today, dental crowns are made from a variety of materials, from ceramic to metal and porcelain, we can also use a zirconia-based material. The type of crown you choose is entirely dependent on your preference and budget and also what the Dentist would recommend to best suit your individual needs.
How long do dental crowns last?
Generally speaking, a dental crown can last up to 15 years as long as it is cared for with regular flossing, brushing and regular examinations with your dentist.