What is a dental crown?
A dental crown ( also know as caps) is a lab made tooth, that fits over your own tooth, or on top of a dental implant.
Why do I need a crown?
Your dentist may have advised a crown for you as your natural tooth is damaged and is not repairable by a traditional filling or
What are crowns made out of?
Crowns are typically made from porcelain or ceramic for front teeth or teeth you will see when you smile, or your dentist may decide that a gold or metal coloured crown is best- particularly if they are on your back teeth. They are made in a dental laboratory following your preparation appointment in which a mould or scan of your teeth has been done.
Which crown Is best for me?
Your dentist will discuss with you the reasons you need a crown and what would be the best crown for you. Metal crowns are more durable are commonly chosen for your back teeth, however porcelain crowns can and are also used. Porcelain, ceramic is used for teeth in your smile line.
Porcelain crowns are shade matched to your existing teeth as closely as possible to ensure that they are not noticeable.
Do dental crowns hurt?
Essentially No, crowns themselves do not hurt.
The process for having a crown may be uncomfortable, particularly during the impression stage, however any work carried out on the actual tooth will usually require a local anaesthetic. The dentist will need to re-shape the natural tooth to ensure that a crown can be made and will fit snuggly.
There may be some discomfort after the procedure where you have had the local anaesthetic placed, but this will not last and will wear off after a couple of hours. If you need to take pain killers then we would recommend whatever you would normally take if you have a headache.
How long does the process take?
From consultation stage to final fitting can be as little as 3 appointments over a 1-month period
(Obviously this depends on the availability of appointments and your own commitments). The preparation stages. Appointment is usually the longest appointment due to the procedures involved in preparing your tooth. We shape the tooth/teeth, take impressions of cans, shade match and if necessary, construct a temporary crown and fit it. This can vary from between 30 minutes to 2 hours. It also depends how may crowns are being prepared for. There is usually a 2 week wait in between preparation stages and fit stages. This is when the dental laboratory will make your crown.
What are dental Impressions?
Dental impressions for crowns are usually taken in a plastic tray in the general shape of your mouth. The impression itself is made of a putty-based material that is mixed and placed in the tray, which is then placed over the teeth in your mouth until its set. This then forms a negative imprint of your teeth, which the lab can make a plaster model from. The dentist will also take a mould of the opposing teeth usually in a different material called alginate, this is so the lab can see how you bite together. This is probably the most uncomfortable stage. Some practices may have the use of an intra oral scanner instead.
Will the crown be noticeable?
Every attempt is made to ensure that the crown matches your own natural teeth, particularly in your smile line. The key point is that over time your natural teeth may change colour and stain.
In some cases, to ensure the best possible shade match, we may involve the lab technician in the shade selection process. This means you may have to visit the lab or the technician comes to the surgery. It is best to shade match in natural light so you may be asked to stand near a window during shade selection, or the dentist may use a daylight lighting system.
Do the crowns feel different?
The crown will be slightly different from your natural tooth before the procedure, and you may be more aware of it in the days following, however this should lessen with time. Sometimes the bite may need to be adjusted as it feels a bit high. If after 10 days or so, you can still feel the crown when biting together we may need to make a further adjustment. This is totally normal and not uncommon.
How long does a crown last?
Generally, the crown will last longer if you look after it. The crown itself will not decay, however decay may start where the crown and the gum meet, therefore it is essential that you maintain a regular regime of hygiene appointments, good brushing and interdental cleaning with floss or little brushes at home.
Is there an alternative?
Your dentist will have discussed with you the best treatment option, and in some cases, it may be that an onlay or inlay may be a suitable alternative. If the tooth is at the front of the mouth a veneer may also be an option. It is best to discuss in detail your options with the dentist as they will advise you of the pros and cons of each option.
How do I look after my new crown?
Crowns are treated like any other tooth. Continue with your daily oral hygiene regime and if you don’t already, consider using floss or interdental brushes. Make sure you visit us at least every 6 months for your regular check up and the rest, is easy as they say.
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