Dental crowns are a form of restoration used to transform and protect damaged, broken, discoloured or chipped teeth by placing a custom-made cap over the entire outer surface of the existing tooth. Crowns are not always the first choice when it comes to recommended treatment as the procedure can be very invasive and a dentist might suggest alternative treatments such as veneers or dental bonding. However, in the following instances, a crown will be required:
Following the initial consultation during which treatment options will have been discussed and decided upon, Dr. Caldwell will anaesthetise the tooth and the surrounding gum. After this, the tooth will be shaped, filed and reduced in order to accommodate the new crown. Crowns must be a certain minimum thickness to ensure sufficient strength and longevity.
Once the tooth has been shaped, Dr. Caldwell will take an impression of the tooth using putty. This impression is then used to create the dental crown. In certain cases, Dr. Caldwell will utilise a dental ceramic milling machine, which takes an optical impression of the tooth from which a crown can be built.
As a permanent crown can take several weeks to make, a temporary crown usually made of plastic or thin metal will be cemented to the tooth until the permanent crown is ready.
When the permanent crown is complete, a second appointment is needed during which Dr. Caldwell will once again numb the tooth and gum and remove the temporary crown.
Once the fit has been evaluated and deemed satisfactory, permanent cement is then used to fix the crown into place permanently.
By maintaining good dental hygiene and eating habits, a high quality dental crown will last up to 15 years.