A dental crown is the most long lasting way we can restore a badly damaged or weak tooth. It is made of metal, porcelain or ceramic, and fits over the remaining tooth like a hat. It is the best way to prevent further damage or breakage of that tooth.
Why might I need a dental crown?
Although fillings are needed to repair decay, teeth with fillings may be weaker and have a higher risk of fracturing or splitting. As more tooth structure is replaced by larger fillings, either the tooth will break, or the filling breaks, or both.
This risk increases with people that grind their teeth or have other missing tooth which increases the forces each tooth has to endure.
Some people may also get porcelain and ceramic crowns as a long-term cosmetic approach for discoloured, crooked, or uneven front teeth.
What is involved in a dental crowns procedure?
The tooth is prepared in the same way as having a filling done to make space for a protective covering over all surfaces of the tooth.
Traditionally, an impression is taken and a temporary plastic crown is made to last until the permanent crown is fitted. If you have any problems with the tooth or temporary crown during this period, it is very important to let us know.
After your new crown is made it is assessed for fit and appearance. If no adjustments are required, it is permanently cemented at this second appointment. This is still the procedure for full gold crowns.
Many crowns these days are made digitally in one visit using CAD CAM technology. At Nundah Village Dental we are pleased to have CEREC technology meaning patients can have a new tooth all in one appointment.
Are there alternatives to dental crowns?
Replacing a very large filling with an even bigger one may lead to the tooth being unsavable at a later date. Fillings are weaker than crowns and cause more weakening of the underlying tooth.
Alternatively the tooth may be extracted, but this will increase the forces and spread the problem to your other remaining teeth.
Losing one tooth can lead to drifting and movement of your remaining teeth. Over time this will also affect your bite, jaw joint alignment, and decay risk over time leading to complex problems.