Crowns are an ideal restoration for teeth, which have been broken, or have been weakened by decay or a very large filling. The crown fits right over the remaining part of the tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape and contour of a natural tooth. Crowns are sometimes also known as 'caps'.
Why would I need a crown?
There are a number of reason. For Instance: the tooth may have been weakened by having a very large filling, you may have discolored fillings and would like to improve the appearance of the tooth, you may have had a root canal which will require a crown to protect it.
What are crowns made of?
Crowns are made of a variety of materials, and new materials are continually being introduced. Here are some of the options available at present:
Full Porcelain bonded to precious metal: A precious metal base is made and porcelain is then applied in layers over it.
Full Porcelain: These crowns are not as strong as bonded crowns but they can look very natural and are most often used for front teeth.
Precious metal (gold and palladium): These crowns are very strong and hard wearing, but are usually used at the back of the mouth, where they are not visible.
How is a tooth prepared for a crown?
Dr. Wagner will prepare the tooth to the ideal shape for the crown. This will involve removing most of the outer surface, and leaving a strong inner 'core'. The amount of the tooth removed will be the same as the thickness of the crown to be fitted. Once the tooth is shaped, Dr. Wagner will take an impression of the prepared tooth. The impressions will be given to the technician, along with any other information needed to make the crown.
Will the crown be noticeable?
No. The crown will be made to match your other teeth. The shade of the neighbouring teeth will be recorded, to make sure that the colour looks natural and matches the surrounding teeth. A temporary crown, will be fitted at the end of the first appointment to last until the permanent one is ready. These temporary crowns may be more noticeable, but they are only a temporary measure.
How long does the treatment take?
At least two visits are needed, the first for the preparation, impression, shade taking and fitting the temporary crown, and the second to fit the permanent crown.
Does it hurt to have a tooth prepared for a crown?
No. A local anaesthetic is used and the preparation should feel no different to that of a filling. If the tooth does not have a nerve, and a post crown is being prepared, then local anaesthetic may not be needed.
How long will a crown last?
The life of a crown will depend on how well it is looked after. The crown itself cannot decay, but decay can start where the edge of the crown joins the tooth. It is very important to keep this area as clean as your other teeth, or decay may occur which could endanger the crown. Properly cared for crowns will last for many years.