A Dental Crown is a tooth-shaped ‘cap’ that is placed over a tooth, covering the tooth to restore its shape, size, strength, and to improve its appearance, to cover a Dental Implant or Root Canal, to protect weak teeth, or restore an already broken tooth that has been worn down. When the Crowns are cemented into place it fully encases the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies above the gum line.
In Dentistry, a Crown is a wafer-thin layer of custom-made caps of tooth-coloured materials, designed to cover or encircle the entire surface of the tooth. These Crowns are bonded to the tooth changing their colour, shape, size, length or correcting uneven spaces, crooked or misshapen teeth. They can be used to improve the aesthetics of a tooth or multiple teeth, or to protect the tooth’s surface from damage.
A Crown can be used as a type of dental restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth or Dental Implant and the colour of the Crown can be adjusted with the shade of cement to be used to match the surrounding teeth. They are typically bonded to the tooth using a Dental Cement.
Crowns are often needed when a large cavity threatens the ongoing health of a tooth. Crowns can be made from many materials, which are usually fabricated using indirect methods.
The most common method of crowning a tooth involves using a dental impression of a prepared tooth by a Dentist to fabricate the Crown outside of the mouth. The Crown can then be inserted at a subsequent dental appointment.
Using this indirect method of tooth restoration, it will allow the use of strong restorative materials requiring time for consuming the fabrication methods which requires intense heat, such as casting metal or firing porcelain which would not be possible to complete inside the mouth.
Crowns can typically last 10–30 years. They may have to be replaced in this time due to cracking, leaking, chipping, discolouration, decay, shrinkage of the gum line and damage from injury or tooth grinding. The cost of Crowns can vary depending on the experience and location of the Dentist.
Getting Dental Crowns usually requires at least 2 trips to the Dentist– the first for a consultation and preparation of the teeth and the second apply the Crowns.
To prepare teeth for Crowns, the Dentist will remove a small amount of enamel from the surface of the teeth, which is an amount nearly equal to the thickness of the Crowns to be added to the surface of the teeth.
The Dentist will make a model or impression of your teeth. This model is sent to a Dental Laboratory, which will construct your Crowns. It usually takes 3 – 4 days for the Dentist to receive the Crowns back from the Laboratory. The Dentist may apply Temporary Crowns (which may incur an additional charge).
Before the Dental Crowns are permanently cemented to your teeth, the Dentist will temporarily place it on your teeth to examine its fit and colour. The Dentist will repeatedly remove and trim the Crowns as needed, to achieve the proper fit; the colour of the Crowns can be adjusted with the shade of cement to be used to match your surrounding teeth.
To prepare your teeth to receive the Crowns, your teeth will be cleaned, polished, and etched – which will roughen the teeth, to allow for a strong bonding process. A special cement is applied to the Crowns which is then placed onto your teeth.
Once properly position on the teeth, the Dentist will apply a special light beam to the Crowns, which activates chemicals in the cement, causing it to harden or cure very quickly.
The final steps involve removing any excess cement, evaluating your bite and making any final adjustments in the Crowns wherever necessary. The Dentist may ask you to return for a follow-up visit to check how your gums are responding to the presence of your new Crowns and to the Crowns placement.