Sometimes also referred to as a cap, a crown is a covering which is added to the top of a current tooth which has been previously prepared. Dental Crowns are often needed when there is a large cavity which may endanger the whole tooth or to support a tooth which has insufficient structure to support a filling.
Many different types of material are used in the preparation of a crown. Historically, these have tended to be made from an alloy of metal which is then covered with a porcelain shell. However, after a while, these often reveal dark gum lines which may not be as aesthetically pleasing as wished for. For a more cosmetic choice, a crown made fully of either porcelain or ceramic is preferred as the look and feel of ceramic closely matches that of a real tooth. The colour of the ceramic can also be chosen to closely match the colour of a patient’s original teeth enabling it to blend in alongside the regular teeth. Some people also choose to have their crowns made from gold for aesthetic reasons.
The early use of ceramic to create a crown often resulted in the tooth fracturing earlier than would have been expected; however, advances in modern dental techniques and improvement in materials have led to a significant improvement in life expectancy of the porcelain crown.
Once our London cosmetic dentist has decided that a crown is the most appropriate choice for the condition of the tooth, an impression is taken of the tooth which is used to make the crown. This will then be prepared at a dental laboratory and fitted to the existing tooth at a subsequent visit.
To attach a crown, it is often necessary to remove a significant part of the tooth’s structure, possibly even including some of the healthy and structurally sound parts. Once this has been done, the crown is attached to the current tooth using dental cement.
Once the crown has been attached, a wearer should expect it to last for at least ten years under normal circumstances. However, it is possible for a crown to last for fifty years or more and much depends on the wearer’s dental care and a usual regime of brushing and flossing is recommended.