Crowns are a restorative option for a tooth. It is a complete encasement of the visible part of the tooth. They are used when there is insufficient tooth material left for a filling to bind to the tooth. Crowns are custom made for each tooth they are placed on.
No two crowns are the same. They are normally cast or milled to the specific shape required at a dental laboratory.Typically, there are two stages to the fabrication of a crown. The first stage is to prepare the tooth for the crown. This will involve the numbing and removing of; surface tooth tissue and any decay present. An impression is taken and a temporary cover is placed over the prepared tooth.
The second stage takes place a week later, and involves numbing the area to remove the temporary cover. The prescribed crown is tried in and checked for the appropriate; shape, colour and bite. We will only cement the new crown to the tooth if we are satisfied that it is fit for purpose and that you are happy with it. For this reason, we do not advise having a crown fitted the day before a special event such as a wedding or holiday as minor corrections may require a further visit to the surgery.
The crown material is stronger than any filling material however, it is never as strong as a healthy tooth. The strength of the crown comes from the strength of the underlying tooth tissue and as this has been reduced, the longevity of a crown is not as good as a natural healthy tooth. Crowns come in a range of materials; gold, porcelain and zirconia. Your dentist is the best person to discuss the suitability of each material.
PATIENT CASE STUDY
This is a real case study from a patient from our practice.
Our patient kindly agreed to try our range of crowns for size and have them photographed in order to help us demonstrate the various treatment options available.
This first picture shows the tooth after preparation for a crown. Impressions were then taken and instructions passed to the lab so that a custom-made crown could be prepared for her.
Her options of crown were as follows.
Standard low gold alloy crown
A good hard wearing crown that is not prone to fracture. It is often used for people who grind/clench their back teeth where porcelain chipping is foreseen.
High gold alloy crown
Slightly more expensive due to the gold content and used for the same reasons as the standard low gold alloy crown but it has a hardness similar to enamel. It is therefore less likely to wear opposing teeth. The margins of the crown are better adapted to the tooth which minimises decay under the crown.
Standard bonded crown
Aesthetically more pleasing to the eye, the general colour of the teeth is taken into account but with minimal detail added. Porcelain can fracture if put under excessive pressure.
Elite lithium silicate porcelain crown
This crown is bonded directly to the tooth to get its strength. With no underlying metal coping, the crown can be moulded to mimic the characteristics of a real tooth. It is the favourite option for front teeth but can easily, as in this case, be used on back teeth.
*Our patient chose this option because of its appearance
“I'm always made to feel welcome and at ease. The dentists are friendly, with a good chair-side manner - an excellent experience all round.”