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Dental crowns are fixed prosthetic teeth. Crowns can be made of ceramic, metal or a combination of both. A crown is used to cover or ‘cap’ a damaged tooth. It is used for the following reasons:
Protection – By capping a damaged tooth it can be saved from extraction and replacement options.
Aesthetics – the shape and colour of a tooth can be improved with the use of a ceramic crown.
The first stage of treatment is to discuss the functionality and aesthetics of your teeth, such as the length, shape and colour. Your dentist and dental ceramist will construct the final crowns based on this information. Your dentist will then prepare your teeth by removing a layer from the surface of your tooth. This allows the final crowns to fit onto your existing teeth.
It normally takes 2 – 3 weeks to custom make porcelain crowns, you will be given temporary crowns during this time to protect your teeth.
Once the permanent crowns are ready, they are checked for colour and fit before finally bonding them in place. The teeth are cleaned with a chemical that helps bond the crown to the tooth. After the cement is placed between the crown and your tooth, a light beam activates the cement to bond the crown firmly.
Your crown will look and feel like a natural tooth. Dental crowns can transform an unattractive smile so not only will you have functionality but many people report that their self-esteem has approved markedly too! Your dentist will adjust your occlusion, or ‘bite’, to ensure you are comfortable.
As with your natural teeth, you should return to your dentist every six months for a check-up and hygiene appointment.
If you suffer from cracked tooth syndrome or have a fractured tooth, a crown may be a necessary treatment. It will hold the tooth together and stop you from feeling pain when using this tooth.
Likewise, dental crowns are often required for patients whose teeth are weaker and need additional protection. This can be from severe teeth wear as a result of acid erosion or grinding, or from having a root canal treatment where the tooth has been hollowed out to remove an infection.
For aesthetic concerns such as misshaped or discoloured teeth, severely worn teeth, dental crowns can also be an ideal treatment.
During your initial consultation appointment, your dentist will assess your teeth and discuss your treatment options with you. Whatever your concern, whether it’s aesthetic, financial or fear of dental treatment, communicate openly with your dentist so that all your needs can be met.