Although teeth are hard and strong, they can still be weakened or damaged due to:
- Tooth Decay
- Large Fillings
- Root canal Treatments
- Everyday wear and tear
A dental crown is like a helmet for your head, but a helmet for your tooth. It helps strengthen and protect the damaged tooth and prevent it from suffering further damage. This could help give the tooth a much longer life-span. A crown cannot decay and is very difficult to stain, which means that it will remain similar colour throughout its life-time. It also helps to improve appearance, chewing ability and maintains the natural bite.
Types of Crown?
- Emax/Feldspathic: these are beautiful, aesthetic crowns, generally used for front teeth and on teeth within the smile line.
- Zirconia: these crowns are tooth coloured and extremely tough. Ideal for those back molar teeth to withstand the grinding and biting forces.
- Gold: extremely durable and strong, if you do not mind the slight bling in the mouth. Perfect for those back molar teeth that cannot be seen in the smile.
You will require two visits for the crown, one for preparation/impression taking and the other for fitting of the crown. Local anaesthetics is used for both visits.
1st Visit: Before crowning of the tooth, old fillings may be removed. The tooth is then shaped delicately to a smaller shape by 1-2mm. After shaping, an impression is taken to record the new shape of the tooth. This impression is sent to the lab for the crown to be made uniquely to fit your tooth. A temporary crown will be attached after this appointment to protect the tooth. Avoid chewing anything hard on this side as the temporary crown is not as strong as the final crown. Good oral hygiene should still be maintained around the temporary crown.
2nd Visit: Temporary crown is removed and the new crown is placed over the reshaped tooth. The new crown will be checked for fit and colour before being cemented to the tooth. The crown should feel smooth and comfortable in your mouth. However, minor adjustment may be needed to achieve comfort.
Crowns should last for many years and is unlikely to break. However, just like your natural teeth, crowns still require regular flossing and brushing, as decay underneath the crown contributes to the most amount of crown failure. Regular dental check-ups are advisable to pick up any early signs of problem.
- Tooth breakage during the preparation and shaping of the tooth.
- Infection of the nerve – there is a small risk that the nerve within the tooth may die and become infected. If this occurs, the tooth may need root canal treatment.
- Pain – there may be minor discomfort to the tooth or gum after crown preparation and placement. This could last for a few days. If pain persists, contact your dentist.
- Altered feeling – like all things, a crown may take sometime to adjust to. A crown will feel different to your original tooth but should not be uncomfortable or painful.
- Loose Crown – a correctly fitted crown should not come loose. Contact your dentist straight away if your new crown has any movement.
- Allergic Reaction – allergies to crown material is extremely rare. Contact your dentist straight away if there is any concerns.