Do you have a broken or significantly decayed tooth?
If so, a dental crown could be a highly effective way of helping to restore the functionality and strength of your tooth in safe and long-lasting way. A crown will help to restore not just your smile but your ability to eat and drink comfortably. Often a crown helps to avoid the need for an extraction of a tooth- helping to prevent a number of potential issues in the future.
A crown can be used to:
- Protect and cover a damaged or decayed tooth.
- Permanently restore a tooth with a large filling.
- Correct minor problem such as spaced or crooked teeth.
- Cover discoloured teeth.
What will my crown look like?
A crown can be made from a number of different materials. These can include gold and metal alloys which are particularly strong or ceramic and porcelain which are a more natural looking alternative.
Your crown will be carefully matched to your other teeth in size and shape (and colour if required). Once fitted it should feel comfortable, secure and (when you get used to it) as if it has always been there.
Why not just remove the tooth?
It is important to avoid the extraction of a tooth unless absolutely necessary. There are various reasons for this.
- A missing tooth can affect your self-confidence.
- It can also cause problems with eating and speech.
- If you have one or more gaps then your remaining teeth can twist or become crooked.
- Food and bacteria can become trapped in the gaps- increasing your risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
- A missing tooth causes a lack of stimulation on your gum which in turn can lead to bone recession and muscle wastage in your face. This can cause your facial features to look aged.
Fitting of your crown
The fitting of a crown normally takes place over several appointments- allowing for the preparation of your existing tooth followed by the manufacture and fitting of your crown.
Once it is established that a crown is suitable for your case and a treatment plan has been discussed with you your tooth will be prepared.
Preparing a tooth for the fitting of a crown can often require the removal of significant amounts of tooth enamel to give space for the crown to be fitted. This will take place under a local anaesthetic to ensure that it is pain-free.
Impressions will be taken and used to produce the crown which will then be fitted at a third appointment. Following cleaning of the tooth surfaces your Dentist will ensure that the crown fits comfortably before bonding it to the existing tooth with dental adhesive.
How long should my crown last?
Provided that it is regularly checked and your teeth are cleaned and flossed daily your crown should last for many years. Remember to pay attention to the tooth underneath which is still vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease.
It is possible to damage the surface of a ceramic crown so do be careful when eating particularly hard foods.