What are Dental Crowns?
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth — to cover the tooth to restore its shape, size, strength, and improve its appearance. Crowns are our strongest restoration. They cover the tooth fully and are cemented onto the tooth with strong cement. They are made outside the mouth, from an impression of the tooth. They provide strength and function and good looks when more than 70% of the tooth has the following:
- Filled or Root Filled
What are crowns made of?
There are various types of material that can be used to make a crown. These include:
- Porcelain only
- Porcelain fused to metal
- Zirconia, which is very like porcelain
- Stainless Steel (usually reserved just for baby teeth)
How are crowns made?
We start the process by taking an xray of the tooth to ensure that the root, the nerve, and the supporting bone is healthy. If there are problems with any of these three things, we can discuss treatment options before the crown is started.
The crown is usually made over 2 visits. The first visit is usually 1 hour, where the tooth is reshaped, and a very accurate impression is taken, and a good looking temporary crown is cemented onto the tooth.
The temporary crown is made of hard plastic and usually needs to be in place for about 2 weeks while the permanent crown is being made in the laboratory. All our laboratory work is done here at home, in Australia, and nothing is sent overseas. The standards of Australian laboratories, are amongst the highest in the world.
On the second visit, the permanent crown is cemented.
If the tooth has had a root canal treatment in the past, one of the most important factors for long term success is having the top of the root canal perfectly sealed, and crowns are perfect for this. Very often, root filled teeth are badly broken down in the first place, or have been heavily restored, or are hollowed out from the root canal process. Only a crown can provide strength, aesthetics, and a good seal for this situation.