A crown is a form of dental restoration that uses a tooth-shaped cap to fit over the remaining part of a prepared tooth, making it strong and durable. Also known as a 'tooth cap' or 'dental crown', crowns are cemented in place to fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies above the gum-line. Crowns are generally made from ceramic materials and can be supported by two types of foundations - implant retained or tooth retained.
What is involved in placing crowns?
Before placing a crown it's important to ensure there is an adequate foundation to support it. The dentist will prepare the tooth to ensure the foundation has the ideal shape for crown placement. This may involve removing a layer of the outer surface to create a strong inner cone. The amount of tooth removed will be the same thickness as of the crown. If there is minimal tooth remaining, Creative Smiles may need to build up a foundation to support it. A foundation may need support when there are large areas of tooth decay, damage or a missing tooth.
Impressions of your teeth will need to be taken to ensure the crown will fit with your normal bite. This process involves taking a mould of the prepared tooth, one of the opposite jaw and possibly another to replicate your bite. These impressions alongside other dental information like your teeth's colour will be given to a dental technician who will develop a suitable crown.
Am I a suitable candidate for crowns?
A dental crown may be required in the following situations:
- Protection for a weak tooth (from decay) - Can hold together parts of a cracked tooth
- Restoration for a broken tooth
- To cover and support a tooth with a large filling
- To hold a dental bridge in place
- Improve a severely misshaped or discoloured tooth
- A cover for a dental implant
- A tooth that has been weakened by clenching or grinding.
Creative Smiles will explore and discuss options with you to ensure you are comfortable moving forward with a treatment which best suits your personal circumstances. Important factors like your desired appearance, longevity and financial position will be considered to find a treatment you are happy with.
There are many restorative treatments which utilise crowns to rectify more serious issues.
When multiple crowns are joined together, they can be used to replace more than one missing tooth. Dental Bridges are are used to 'bridge' a gap by cementing onto natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. These adjacent teeth serve as anchors for the bridge.
Alternatives to Dental Crown
If your desire is to improve discolouration, teeth whitening or veneers may be a better option. Veneers are thin porcelain or resin layers that are fixed onto the front surface of a tooth. This can greatly improve the appearance of your teeth by hiding imperfections and is relatively cheaper than a crown. Teeth whitening can also be used if your teeth are in good condition with slight discolouration. Contact Creative Smiles to discuss which treatment will suit you the best.