What is a crown?
A Crowns are an ideal way to rebuild teeth which have been broken, or have been weakened by decay or a very large filling. The crown fits right over the remaining part of the tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape and contour of a natural tooth. Crowns are sometimes also known as ‘caps’. An ‘Anterior Crown’ is a crown fitted to the front eight teeth.
Q How long does the treatment
A You will need to have at least two visits: the first for the preparation, impression, shade taking and fitting the temporary crown, and the second to fit the permanent crown.
Q Does it hurt to have a tooth prepared for a crown?
A No. A local anaesthetic is used and the preparation should feel no different from a filling. If the tooth does not have a nerve, and a post crown is being prepared, then local anaesthetic may not be needed.
Q Are post crowns different?
A Post crowns may be used when the tooth has been root filled. The weakened crown of the tooth is drilled off at the level of the gum. The dentist makes a double-ended ‘post’ to fit into the root canal. This can be either prefabricated stainless steel or custom made of gold. One end of the post is cemented into the root canal, and the other end holds the crown firmly in place.
Q Are there any alternatives to post crowns for root-filled teeth?
A If a root-filled tooth is not completely broken down, it may be possible to build it up again using filling material. This ‘core’ is then prepared in the same way as a natural tooth and the impressions are taken.
Q How long will a crown last?
A The life of a crown will depend on how well it is looked after. The crown itself cannot decay, but decay can start where the edge of the crown joins the tooth. It is very important to keep this area as clean as your other teeth, or decay could endanger the crown. Properly cared for crowns will last for many years – your dentist will be able to tell you how long.
Q How are crowns fixed to teeth?
A Once the fit and appearance of the crown has been checked – and approved by you – it will be cemented in place with special dental cement. The cement also forms a seal to help hold it firmly in place.
Q Will the crown feel different?
A Because the shape of the crown will be slightly different from the shape of your tooth before it was crowned, you may be aware of it to begin with. Within a few days it should feel fine, and you will not notice it. The crown may need some adjustment if it feels higher than the surrounding teeth. If it is at all uncomfortable ask your dentist to check and adjust it.
Q Is there an alternative to a crown?
A A veneer may be an alternative to having an anterior crown. Your dentist will advise you of any suitable alternatives.