A crown is an artificial restoration that fits over the remaining part of a prepared tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape of a natural tooth. A crown is sometimes known as a ‘cap’. Crowns are an ideal way to repair teeth that have been broken, or have been weakened by decay or a very large filling. A crown could be used for a number of other reasons, for example:
- You may have a discoloured filling and would like to improve the appearance of the tooth.
- You may have had a root filling and need a crown to protect what is left of the tooth.
- It may help to hold a bridge or denture firmly in place.
Crowns can be made of a variety of different materials and new materials are continually being introduced. At Colchester Dental Surgery we can offer cosmetic solutions that also offer durability and longevity.
Before having a crown fitted, the dentist will prepare the tooth to the ideal shape for the crown. This will involve removing a layer of the outer surface, leaving a strong inner core. The amount of the tooth removed will be the same as the thickness of the crown. Once the tooth is shaped, the dental team will take an impression (mould) of the prepared tooth, one of the opposite jaw and possibly another to show the way you bite together. The impressions will then be given to a dental technician, along with information about the shade to use and any other information they need. A temporary crown will be made so that you can use the tooth while you wait for the crown to be made. This crown may be more noticeable but is only temporary. When you and your dentist are happy with the fit and appearance of the new crown, it will be fixed in place with special dental cement or adhesive. The cement forms a seal to hold the crown in place.
It is important to keep the crown just as clean as you would your natural teeth. The crown itself cannot decay, but decay can start where the edge of the crown joins the tooth. Brush last thing at night and at least one other time during the day with a fluoride toothpaste, and clean in between your teeth with ‘interdental’ brushes or floss. If you take good care of your crown, they can often last for many decades! Our team can offer you more information on an individual basis.