If you have broken or weakened teeth, crowns are the ideal way to artificially restore both strength and appearance. Also known as ‘caps’, crowns can be made from a variety of materials depending on how you wish your teeth to look. They fit over the remaining tooth to give a strong seal that will protect the tooth from further damage.
There are a variety of materials used for crowns:
- Porcelain bonded to metal. These are very strong but can show a metal line if your gums recede and look a bit dull due to metal being underneath
- All ceramic crowns. Are metal free and very strong. Since there is no metal to dull the appearance, they can look very natural like the rest of your teeth
- Gold/metal crowns. Are very strong and resilient but will look different to your natural teeth
Crowns are custom-made in a dental laboratory by a skilled technician to be an exact fit for your mouth. We offer both standard crowns and CEREC – Same Day Crowns (see below).
For standard crowns, one visit is required to prepare the tooth, take an impression and place a temporary restoration. Preparing the tooth often means that a small amount of the outside tissue will need to be removed so the new crown will fit snugly over the tooth and between the surrounding teeth.
Your dentist will ensure you are completely comfortable at all times, which may include administering pain relief if necessary. For particularly anxious or worried patients, safe sedation is also available. The second appointment is usually 7-14 days later to fit the crown. In between these visits, you may need to go and meet the technician who will ensure the colour matches correctly.
CEREC Same Day Crowns
Alongside standard crowns we are also able to offer patients the CEREC system, which allows us to create and fit a new crown in one day. Cutting-edge technology means we are able to create an incredibly accurate scan of the tooth that is due to be crowned. This is then used by the CEREC unit to create your bespoke crown that very day. You can then have your new crown fitted, so your treatment can be completed in one visit.
How long will my crown last?
The lifespan of a crown depends on many factors, such as the type and the wear and tear it receives, as well as the oral health regime followed by its wearer. It is reasonable to expect a crown to last between five and fifteen years (possibly more). To help crowns last longer it is strongly advised not to grind your teeth or use excessive force on them in any other way. A good regime of brushing and flossing should also be followed.
Partial crowns (also known as onlays) are also available and suitable for some patients. An onlay is particularly useful to repair a broken tooth. It is like a 3D jigsaw piece custom-made to fit your tooth.
The advantage of the onlay over the crown is that less tooth tissue needs to be removed. Your dentist will advise you what is best for you.