Sometimes known as a cap, crowns are carefully fitted sleeves that sit over an existing tooth to protect it from further damage, and to improve your overall smile. Crowns can hold cracked teeth together and support bridges, and they are often applied as the final step in root canal treatment. They can also cover discoloured teeth to improve the appearance of your teeth.
Why you may need a crown?
A crown is likely to be required if there is no longer enough healthy tooth tissue left to sufficiently hold a filling or used to cover and protect damaged or weak teeth. They can also improve the appearance of misshapen or discoloured teeth and act as protective sleeve which fits over your remaining tooth. A crown may also be placed as the final stage following root canal treatment, as this has proven to be the most successful way of sealing and protecting the tooth.
Preparation time will vary depending on the condition of the damaged tooth. Your tooth will be carefully reshaped, to ensure that it can carry the crown. Treatment is usually provided over 2 visits. After the tooth is prepared and the impression is taken at the first appointment, a temporary crown is worn to protect the tooth for around 2 weeks while the crown is made.
What are crowns made from?
The application of crowns is one of the longest-standing dental procedures. We can date their use back to the 5th century and the ancient Etruscans, who used gold and silver to ‘cap’ problem teeth. Dental techniques have developed since then, and in today’s practices crowns can be made from a variety of materials:
- Metal, including gold alloy and other metal-based alloys
- Porcelain fused to metal (known as PFM)
- Porcelain fused to zirconia
We recommend the use of porcelain crowns, as they are durable and can be crafted to match the natural shade of your teeth.
How long will a crown last?
A permanent crown can last between 5 and 15 years, depending on your habits, lifestyle and oral care routine. Teeth grinding can put pressure on a crown, leading to cracks and possible damage. If you know that you suffer from clenching or grinding, speak to your College Street Dental & Implant Clinic dentist; they will be able to provide you with advice and possible solutions (such as a mouthguard) to help protect your crown and keep it looking its best into the future.
How shall I look after my crown?
You can treat your crown like a normal tooth. While it does not require any particular care, remember that it acts as a sleeve over the top of your natural tooth and so decay and gum disease can still occur without a good oral health routine. Keep up regular visits to your local Burnham dental practice and remember to continue to floss around the tooth. When flossing, try to pull the floss through your teeth rather than upwards – sometimes pulling up and out can catch on your crown and contribute to wear and tear.
If you think that you require crowns, or would like further information on the procedure, contact College Street Dental & Implant Clinic in Burnham today.