A dental crown is used to cover up a damaged or decayed tooth. The crown provides support and reinforcement for a weak tooth structure, to enable it to last longer. The dental crown procedure is performed fairly commonly, especially in instances where the damage to the tooth is too substantial for it to be handled by a dental filling. So, when do you need a dental crown for dental restoration? Let’s take a look….
What Are Dental Crowns?
Also known as dental caps, dental crowns are covers that are fitted over an existing tooth. Dental crowns strengthen teeth that have been weakened by damage or decay. They are also used to cover up a tooth that has undergone root canal treatment or if you are having a dental bridge. While dental crowns can improve the appearance of a tooth, they are used primarily to restore form and function.
When Do You Need A Dental Crown Instead Of Dental Veneers?
If you would like to change the aesthetics of your teeth only and do not need to strengthen your teeth, dental veneers may be a more suitable option for you.
When Do You Need A Dental Crown?
Dental crowns may be required if you:
- Have lost a large part of your tooth due to decay or damage
- Would like to cover up a discoloured or misshapen tooth
- Have a large cavity that is too big to be managed by a dental filling
- Want to cover up a dental implant
- Want to cover up a tooth that has been restored with a large filling
- Need to support a dental bridge.
What Are Dental Caps Made From?
There are a variety of different materials that can be used for dental caps. The most commonly used materials include
- Porcelain fused to metal
- Composite resin
- Porcelain or ceramic
The best type of material for you will depend on factors like where the crown is located and your budget.
What To Expect From The Dental Crown Procedure
The dental crown procedure is usually completed in two visits to the dentist. During your first visit, your dental practitioner will examine your tooth and prepare it for the crown. During your second visit, your crown will be fitted.
During your first visit your dentist will inspect the state of your teeth and gums, to ensure there is no decay below the gum line and to ensure there is no infection present. An injection of local anaesthetic will be administered to ensure that the rest of the dental crown procedure is comfortable.
Then, your dentist will file away a portion of the affected tooth, to make space for the dental crown. The amount that is removed will be the same thickness as the dental crown. After your tooth has been filed down and shaped, your dentist will take an impression that will be sent off to the dental laboratory.
The colour, size and shape of your new crown will be matched with your existing natural teeth.
Because it may take two to three weeks to manufacture your dental crown, your dentist will fit a temporary crown until it is ready.
You will be instructed not to chew on the treated tooth for the first 24-hours after your procedure. Once your crown has been fitted, you will be able to bite and chew with the same force as you exert with your natural teeth. The dental crown should feel comfortable and no different to the other teeth in your mouth.
How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?
With good care, dental crowns can last for a very long time. They need to be brushed and floss twice a day, just like your natural teeth, and you should visit your dentist twice a year to ensure your crown is still secure and in good working order.
Sometimes dental crowns can fall out or break. This is usually due to a weakening of the dental cement that holds them in place. If this happens, you must have your dental crown restored to prevent decay and infection.
Depending on the type of material used and the position of your dental crown, you can expect a lifespan of between five and 15 years. Porcelain crowns are more prone to chipping and may need to be replaced before other materials.
To find out more about when do you need a dental crown or for a consultation, please contact us for the next available appointment: (02) 8203 8760.
Dental Crown Procedure
Dental Crowns and Tooth Caps