What is a Crown?
A crown is a hollow cap that fits over a specially prepared tooth and is cemented in place. Crowns can be used on anterior (front) teeth and posterior (back/molar) teeth. Reasons as to why a tooth needs to have a crown placed on it:
- To strengthen a tooth. A tooth that has lost 50% or more of its coronal tooth structure is very weak, even when filled with the best filling materials available.
- To restore a tooth to its original shape. A tooth that is broken or that is very worn down from years of grinding is often flattened and ineffective when chewing. A crown would be the ideal method restoring a tooth's anatomy to provide an efficient chewing surface and very aesthetic result.
- To improve the cosmetic appearance of a tooth. A crown encases the entire visible part of a tooth can, therefore, be used to idealise the cosmetic appearance of a tooth. Crowns can correct cosmetic problems such as discolouration, crowding and poor alignment, aberrations in size and shape of a tooth.
- To stop the progression of Crack and Cracked Tooth Syndrome (CTS). A cracked tooth initially presents with a sudden sharp pain when biting down, which immediately subsides once you release the biting pressure. Often hot, cold or sweet foods and drinks will cause sudden sharp pain in cracked teeth. A tooth that is greatly weakened by a crack will often die if untreated. A crack in a tooth is like a crack in a windscreen. They only get worse and if left long enough will allow bacteria into the nerve causing an abscess and the need for either an extraction or root canal treatment.
- To Restore a tooth that has gone through root canal treatment. Not only are they more prone to breakages but those breakages are usually un-restorable and the entire tooth will then unfortunately have to be extracted (removed). In some cases, they may need to be surgically removed, as the crown of the tooth may break off only leaving the roots and having nothing to hold onto to help remove the tooth. This is shame as you would have gone through the inconvenience and cost of root canal treatment.
Types of crowns
There are many different types of crowns. Professional skill and experience mean the correct crown is available for your individual tooth requirements.
- Gold Crowns: These types of crowns are used mainly on molar teeth, as they are at the back of the mouth where appearances are not as important as the front of the mouth. They are strong with similar hardness and wear properties of a natural tooth.
- Porcelain Fused to Metal Crowns (PFM): A PFM crown is used when colour and strength is important. These are harder than normal teeth.
- All Ceramic Crowns: Are used when colour is the highest priority, like your front teeth. All types of crowns require two appointment, the first being the preparation of the tooth and impressions are sent to a dental lab where your crown will be made over a 2 week period. The second appointment is making sure that your new crowns fits perfectly before it is cemented into place. If you have any further questions please call our friendly staff today to make an appointment with one of our dentist.