What is a crown?
A crown replaces part or all of the natural visible part of a tooth. It is also sometimes referred to as a replacement or a cap and is used in the following circumstances:
- When all, or a large part of the original cap of a tooth has been destroyed
- When a healthy tooth forms part of a bridge, or when it is used for cosmetic purposes
- A natural crown that has become discoloured or unsightly. The new crown can be made to match the surrounding teeth in colour, shape and proportion.
What does the treatment consist of?
- The tooth will initially be prepared by paring it down and removing any decay.
- An impression of the prepared tooth is made using an elastic material.
- A temporary acrylic cap is then fitted over the prepared tooth, while the replacement is being made.
- The impression is sent off to a dental technician for the replacement to be made.
- Once received, the new crown is cemented onto the prepared tooth.
What are replacements made of?
Replacements may be made of porcelain, gold or a combination of metals. Sometimes porcelain can be fused to a metal base when the tooth needs added strength, and a good appearance is required. This is called a porcelain bonded crown. Temporary ones are made of acrylic.
Will the pared down tooth be sensitive until I receive my crown?
No. We make and install a temporary acrylic cap to protect the pared down tooth. It will look good and be comfortable to eat with.
Is it uncomfortable or painful to have a crown made?
No. The procedure is not painful because a local anaesthetic is used during the preparation of the tooth, and the taking of the impression. Pain relief is seldom necessary after the treatment, although sensitivity to hot and cold sometimes occurs after the coa has first been cemented, but this is normally temporary.
Will replacement make me look good?
- Replacements can restore and enhance the appearance of teeth and the smile.
- They are often used in cosmetic dentistry as part of the treatment. Replacements can be made to look natural, and to match the surrounding teeth.
How well will I be able to eat with a replacement?
Eating with a replacement should be the same as with a natural tooth. With pure porcelain, some care may be necessary.
How successful are replacements?
- Replacements are very successful for restoring teeth.
- They are functional: chewing is comfortable and the same as with natural teeth.
- They are aesthetic, so they look natural and match the size, colour and shape of the other teeth.
- They are durable: they are known to last for up to forty years.
What role does the dental technician play?
- The dental technician plays an important part in the making of a crown. It takes skill and experience to fabricate it from the impression that the dentist provides. This must be very precise in its colour and dimensions.
- The impression that is received from the dentist is used to make a plaster or stone cast of the prepared tooth or teeth. The cast is a copy of the tooth or teeth.
- It allows the technician to make an exact copy of a prepared tooth.
- The technician will use the same shade/colour guide as the dentist, to ensure that the replacement will match the colour of the adjacent teeth.