What is a dental crown?
A crown is an artificial cap that covers the remains of a natural tooth in order to restore strength and improve the appearance of the tooth.
When are dental crowns necessary?
A dental crown provides both cosmetic and functional solutions to help improve the condition of your teeth.
Dental crowns are custom-made in accordance with a patient’s requirements and can be used for a variety of reasons, including:
• Improving the tooth’s aesthetic
• Covering up a damaged or decayed tooth
• Strengthening a weak tooth
• Providing protection following root canal therapy
• As a holding component for a dental bridge
Tooth decay is one of the most common reasons for fitting crowns, in order to avoid tooth removal.
How are dental crowns fitted?
Before a dental crown can be fitted, there are several steps that must be followed before the final application stage.
Stage one: Consultation
Before making the final decision on getting a crown fitted, your dentist will explain the process and the implications of getting a crown. They will also determine whether you are suitable for receiving a crown, as your teeth may not be in the right condition.
If you have any dental decay or broken fillings, you may have to get additional treatments for this first before having a crown fitted.
Our specialist dental team will perform an x-ray and thorough assessments in order to establish whether the tooth is healthy enough to hold a crown. They will also determine if there are any additional complications that may affect the application process.
Stage two: Preparation
In order to provide an accurate surface for the crown to be fitted, the structure of the tooth must be altered and prepared for application.
A dentist will then administer a local anaesthetic to numb the area surrounding the tooth.
If you have any loose or missing fillings, then the dentist will have to construct the tooth to restore it to a shape that will accommodate the crown. Once this is complete, they will then take an impression to provide the perfect outline for the custom-made crown, ensuring that it is matched to the exact colour of your natural teeth.
This is then sent off to a specialised dental laboratory where it is constructed, and you will be provided with a provisional (temporary) crown until your permanent one is ready.
Stage three: Crown fitting
Once your crown is sent back to the dentist, they will then arrange an appointment for your fitting, which should take around 20 to 40 minutes.
On the day of your crown fitting, you may be offered local anaesthetic to numb the area.
The temporary crown is then removed, and the remains of the natural tooth are cleaned in order to avoid a build of bacteria or infection.
Before cementing the crown in place, your dentist will double check that the crown is the perfect fit by aligning it with the rest of your teeth and assessing your bite.
Once they are satisfied with the crown, they will then use dental cement on the inside of the crown and place it over the natural tooth.
Stage four: Recovery
There are two recovery stages. The first is after the temporary crown is fitted, which is when your tooth is most vulnerable. This is due to losing a large amount of enamel, however, the temporary crown acts as a protective barrier to ensure no damage is caused.
You will be required to wear the temporary crown for a couple of weeks and you should avoid any chewy or sticky foods which may loosen the crown and expose the tooth. You should also refrain from eating these foods during the second recovery phase, which is within the first few days of getting your permanent crown.
You should not feel any discomfort or sensitivity after your crown fitting, if you do you should consult with our expert dental team.