A crown completely covers a weakened tooth above the gum line and protects it.
Crowns are made of metal, porcelain, or porcelain with metal inside for strength.
How we prepare a crown:
- A local anaesthetic to numb the area may be given.
- The tooth is shaped so that, with the crown, it will be the same size as a normal tooth.
- Preparation time will depend on how damaged the tooth is and whether it needs to be built up with a filling first.
- The tooth might have to be root filled first – this sometimes called ‘removing the nerve’. The crown is sometimes held in place by a post in the root canal if a lot of tooth is missing.
- Soft mouldable material is used to make a precise ‘impression’ of the tooth to be crowned and the nearby teeth. A dental technician uses the impression to make the crown the exact height and size needed.
- A thin cord may be used to hold the gum away from the neck of the tooth so that the impression is accurate round the edges.
- A temporary crown made of plastic or metal is put over the tooth until the crown is made. You can chew on a temporary crown but it won’t be as strong as the finished one.
- When the crown is fitted, small adjustments are made to ensure you can bite comfortably. The crown is tried in first, and the ‘glued’ into place.
The benefits of this treatment:
- A crown is strong and can look and feel almost exactly like a natural tooth. The colour and shape can be matched to your own teeth.
- Depending on the strength of the tooth underneath, a crown can last for many years if your oral hygiene is good and the crown is not accidentally damaged.
- Crowns can also improve appearance of misshapen or discoloured teeth.