A crown is a type of dental restoration that fully covers the portion of a tooth or dental implant that lies at and above the gum line.
Once fitted, it becomes the tooth’s new outer surface. In comparison, a dental filling just fills in or repairs a portion of a tooth.
Dental crowns are permanently cemented into place. A crowned tooth is cared for and functions like any natural tooth.
Crowns are used for several reasons:
- as a protective cover for badly decayed teeth or fractured teeth
- as a permanent restoration for teeth with large fillings
- to correct minor problems in natural teeth like spacing and irregular shape or severe discolouration.
What are crowns made from?
Crowns can be made from a variety of materials. They can be made from plastic, ceramic or metal alloys. A combination of metal and ceramic is also possible to maximise strength and simulate the appearance of natural teeth. Every tooth is different and your Smilepod dentist will advise you which type of crown will be best for you.
Why do I need 3 appointments to make my crown ?
Firstly, a thorough clinical examination is conducted with radiographs, by the dentist. The suitability for crowns is assessed and any preparatory work is carried out. Your dentist will also be able to advice on material choices, treatment sequence and any other concerns you may have.
At the second appointment, the teeth to be crowned are prepared. This involves reduction of the tooth size (usually under local anaesthesia) followed by an impression or mould of the prepared tooth. This trimming of the tooth is required to create space for the crown to be fitted. The mould taken is then sent to a laboratory where skilled technicians will fabricate the crown. In the meantime, a temporary crown is made and fitted onto the trimmed tooth.
At the third appointment, the temporary crown is removed and the tooth surfaces cleaned. The completed crown is tried on the tooth for fit, harmony with the bite, and appearance. Finally, the crown is cemented onto the prepared tooth with dental cement.
how long do crowns last and how do i care for them?
Crowns are made of inert materials that do not deteriorate over time. However, the underlying tooth is still prone to decay and gum disease.
Ceramic on the surface may chip or fracture. Avoid chewing excessively-hard substances like ice or bones. Daily brushing and flossing are essential for maintaining good oral health as well as keeping the crown trouble-free. This will protect the most vulnerable portion of the crown the margin or the junction between tooth and crown.
Regular check-ups will enable your Smilepod dentist to detect any problems with your crown and recommend necessary treatment.