Crowns

Crowns at West House Dental PracticeWhat is a crown?

A Crown is an ideal way to rebuild teeth which have been broken, or have been weakened by decay or a very large filling. A crown fits over the remaining part of the tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape and contour of a natural tooth. Crowns are also known as ‘caps’. An ‘Anterior Crown’ is a crown fitted to the front teeth.

Why need a crown?

There are a number of reasons a tooth may require a crown. For example:

  • the tooth may have been weakened by having a very large filling
  • you may have discoloured fillings and would like to improve the appearance of the tooth
  • you may have had a root filling which will need a crown to protect it
  • you may have had an accident and damaged the tooth
  • it may help hold a bridge or denture firmly in place.

Crowns at West House Dental PracticeWill the crown be noticeable?

The crown will be made to match your other teeth exactly. 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, usually made in plastic, 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 in place for about two weeks.

How long does the treatment take?

You will need to have at least two visits: 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?

A local anaesthetic is used and the preparation should feel no different from a filling.  If the tooth does not have a nerve, and a post crown is being prepared, then local anaesthetic may not be needed.

Crowns at West House Dental PracticeAre post crowns different?

Post crowns may be used when the tooth has been root filled. The weakened crown of the tooth is drilled off at the level of the gum.  The dentist makes a double-ended  ‘post’ to fit into the root canal.  This can be either prefabricated stainless steel or custom made of gold. One end of the post is cemented into the root canal, and the other end holds the crown firmly in place.

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 could endanger the crown.  Properly cared for crowns will last for many years – your dentist will be able to tell you how long.