Dental Crowns (Caps)
A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.
Although there are several types of crowns, including metal crowns (non tooth coloured) usually used in posterior teeth that are not usually visible, all ceramic crowns (like zirconium and Emax) that have no metal underneath, metal ceramic (porcelain crowns) that have a metal foundation underneath. These are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced. Dental crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color or your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.
What does getting a crown involve?
A crown procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking highly accurate moulds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown. A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory.
While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown. Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly.
At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.
You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.
Crowns are a restoration for teeth, which have been broken, or have been weakened by decay or a very large filling. The crown fits over the remaining part of the tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape and contour of a natural tooth. Crowns are sometimes also known as ‘caps’.
There are a number of reasons to have a crown:.
- On dental implants.
- The tooth may have been weakened by having a very large filling.
- You may have discolored fillings and would like to improve the appearance of the tooth.
- You may have had a root filling which will require a crown to protect it.
- You may have had an accident and damaged the tooth.
- It may hold a bridge or denture firmly in place.
The tooth is prepared to the ideal shape for the crown. This will involve removing most of the outer surface, and leaving a strong inner ‘core’. The amount of the tooth removed will be the same as the thickness of the crown to be fitted. Once the tooth is shaped, an impression is taken of the prepared tooth, one of the opposite jaw and possibly another to mark the way you bite together.
The impression and shade information will be given to a Dental Technician who constucts the crown. Models will be made of your mouth and the crown will be constructed on these in order to ensure that the crown fits perfectly.
The shade of the neighbouring teeth will be recorded, to make sure that the colour looks natural and matches the surrounding teeth. The technician will be able to match the characteristics of your own teeth. A temporary crown, usually made in plastic, will be fitted at the end of the first appointment to last until the definitive one is ready. These temporary crowns may be more noticeable, but they are only a temporary measure.
At least two visits are needed, the first for the preparation, impression, shade taking and fitting the temporary crown, and the second to fit the permanent crown.