Crowns: Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What is a dental crown?
A: Dental crowns serve as an optimal solution for reconstructing teeth that have been broken or weakened due to decay or an extensive filling. A crown fits securely over the remaining tooth structure, enhancing its strength and restoring the tooth’s natural shape and contour. Crowns are occasionally referred to as “caps,” with an “anterior crown” specifically denoting a crown applied to the front eight teeth.
Q: What are the reasons for needing a crown?
A: Several factors might necessitate a dental crown, including:
- A large filling that weakens the tooth
- Discoloured fillings, which can be replaced to improve the tooth’s appearance
- A root filling requiring a crown for protection
- Tooth damage from an accident
- Securing a bridge or denture firmly in place
Q: What materials are crowns made of?
A: Dental crowns can be composed of various materials, with new options continuously emerging. Currently, the following materials are commonly used:
- Porcelain bonded to precious metal: A prevalent choice, this type of crown consists of a precious metal base with layers of porcelain applied over it.
- Porcelain: While not as strong as bonded crowns, porcelain crowns can appear very natural and are often used for front teeth.
- Porcelain and composite: A combination of porcelain and composite resin materials can yield highly natural-looking crowns, albeit not as strong as bonded metal crowns.
- Glass: Glass crowns exhibit a natural appearance and can be used for both front and back teeth.
- Precious metal (gold and palladium): These crowns boast exceptional strength and durability, though they are typically not employed for highly visible front teeth.
Q: How is a tooth prepared for a crown?
A: To prepare a tooth for a crown, the dentist will remove most of the tooth’s outer surface while retaining a robust inner core. The tooth material removed will be equivalent to the thickness of the crown to be fitted. After shaping the tooth, the dentist will take impressions of the prepared tooth, the opposite jaw, and potentially another to capture the patient’s bite. These impressions, along with any other necessary information, will be provided to the dental technician for crown fabrication.
Q: Who is responsible for creating the crown?
A: A skilled dental technician will receive the impressions and information about the tooth shade to craft the crown. They will construct models of the patient’s mouth to ensure a perfect fit for the crown.
Q: Will the crown be noticeable?
A: No, the crown will be custom-made to blend seamlessly with the patient’s other teeth. The color of adjacent teeth will be recorded to ensure a natural appearance. A temporary, typically plastic, crown will be fitted during the first appointment and replaced with the permanent crown in approximately two weeks.
Q: What is the duration of the treatment process?
A: At least two visits are required: one for tooth preparation, impression-taking, shade determination, and temporary crown placement, and another for the permanent crown fitting.
Q: Is the tooth preparation process for a crown painful?
A: No, the dentist will use a local anesthetic, and the procedure should feel similar to receiving a filling. For teeth without nerves that require a post crown, local anesthesia may not be necessary.
Q: How do post crowns differ?
A: Post crowns are employed when a tooth has undergone root canal treatment. The weakened tooth crown is drilled down to the gum level, and a dual-ended post is created to fit into the root canal. This post, made of prefabricated stainless steel or custom gold, is cemented into the root canal, with one end supporting the crown.
Q: Are there alternatives to post crowns for root-filled teeth?
A: If a root-filled tooth remains largely intact, it may be possible to rebuild it using filling material. This “core” is then prepared similarly to a natural tooth, and impressions are taken for crown fabrication.
Q: How long can a crown last?
A: The lifespan of a crown depends on proper maintenance. While the crown itself cannot decay, decay can develop where the crown edge meets the tooth. It is crucial to keep this area as clean as the other teeth to prevent decay from compromising the crown. With appropriate care, crowns can last for many years, but your dentist will be able to provide a more specific estimate.
Q: How are crowns attached to teeth?
A: Once the fit and appearance of the crown are verified and approved by the patient, it will be cemented in place using specialized dental cement. This cement also forms a seal to help secure the crown.
Q: Will the crown feel different?
A: Initially, the crown may feel somewhat different due to its slightly altered shape compared to the pre-crowned tooth. However, this sensation should subside within a few days. If the crown feels too high or causes any discomfort, the dentist can make adjustments.
Q: Are there alternatives to a dental crown?
A: A veneer may be a suitable alternative to an anterior crown. Your dentist will advise you on any appropriate alternatives based on your specific situation.
Our treatments include…
- White Fillings
- Root Canal Treatment
- Post Crowns
- Adhesive Bridges
- Teeth Whitening
Our experienced team is passionate about providing a welcoming environment where you can feel comfortable and confident in the quality of treatment you receive.