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Dental treatments

Crowns

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What is a dental crown?

A dental crown is a small cap with the appearance of a natural tooth, which is held in place with cement or a dental adhesive.
Dental crowns have a variety of uses:

  • They act as a protective cover for any damaged, fractured or badly decayed teeth
  • To complete the restoration or teeth that have needed large fillings
  • To improve the aesthetic appearance of teeth

What are crowns made from?

There are various types of dental crowns, all made from different materials such as plastic, ceramic or metal alloys. Often a combination of materials will be used to provide a mix of strength and a natural looking appearance.

How are crowns made?

Before any work is undertaken, your dentist will conduct a thorough clinical examination using radiographs. This will allow them to assess your suitability for the treatment and perform any preparatory work. Your dentist will then provide their recommended treatment plan, advise on which materials they feel would be most suitable and address any questions you may have about the treatment.

The follow up appointment will involve preparing the teeth for the placement of the dental crown. The dentist will reduce the size of the tooth (normally performed under local anaesthesia) and will take an impression of the tooth. This work is done to create adequate space for the crown to be properly fitted. The mould of the reduced tooth will be sent to a lab technician to create the final crown. A temporary crown will be fitted until the main one is ready.

In your final appointment,  the temporary crown will be taken out, and the surface of the tooth will be thoroughly cleaned. The crown will be fitted and tested to ensure it fits properly, is fully functional and has the proper appearance. Once your dentist is satisfied with the fit, the crown is fitted permanently using dental cement.

How long do crowns last and how do I care for them?

The materials which make up dental crowns will not deteriorate, however the natural tooth underneath remains vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease like any other tooth.

The ceramic coating of the crown may chip or break if placed under excessive stress. Caring for a dental crown is similar to a regular dental hygiene routine, with daily brushing and flossing essential for keeping it clean and healthy.

Your dentist will assess the health of your dental crown as part of your routine checkups and will advise if you need any further treatment.

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