Answers to your root canal worries make it easier
12th September 2019
Sometimes just the phrase 'root canal' worries patients. A root canal filling is a dental procedure that does have a… read more
While nothing beats the strength and appearance of our own real, healthy teeth, crowns repair a variety of dental problems.
A crown is a custom-made tooth replacement that is cemented over a reduced part of your own tooth. Sometimes a post is inserted to support the crown. Because it’s a fixed restoration, in both function and appearance it resembles a natural tooth. Modern crowns are made from a variety of materials and costs vary accordingly.
There are several reasons why your dentist may suggest a crown. Crowns are used to repair a tooth:
Crowns used to be made of silver or gold, which was long-lasting but quite noticeable. Nowadays, patients have a wider choice of realistic tooth-like constructions. While some crowns are made of porcelain bonded onto noble* or base** metals, realistic metal-free crowns made from porcelain and/or glass composites can look more natural. Moreover, if you have concerns about having metal in your mouth, or if the crown will be prominent when you smile, you will want the crown to look as realistic as possible.
Your dentist will talk to you about the best material for your restoration, explaining the advantages of different types. Not surprisingly, the more costly the crown the more realistic the appearance is.
At the first appointment, your dentist will prepare your natural tooth, slowly reshaping it to hold the crown. Then the dentist will take impressions to send of to the dental lab, so the tooth can be constructed. It’s important too, to take a colour-match so the new crown matches your original tooth as closely as possible. The dentist fits a temporary crown at the first appointment, to cover and protect your own tooth until the final crown is ready to be fitted.
At your second appointment, the final crown will be bonded to your original tooth with dental adhesive. This adhesive forms a seal which protects your original tooth.
The location of your crown in your mouth really dictates the amount of money you’ll want to spend on the crown.
A tooth at the back of your mouth, a molar, must be designed to chew and grind food. If you’re repairing a front tooth, however, it’s a good idea to spend more to have a crown of superior materials so it resembles the translucency and lustre of your natural teeth more closely.
You should always remember to brush your crown carefully paying particular attention to the margin between the gum and the crown. Moreover, it is important to use an interdental brush and floss to protect the neck and root of your tooth as well as your gums. Although your crown cannot decay, it’s important to prevent decay in the remaining part of your original tooth. By practicing good oral hygiene and having regular dental check-ups, your crown should last many years.
Depending on the material used, crowns are durable. But a crown can chip or fracture a little more easily than an original tooth.
There are two main reasons why patients decide to replace an old crown:
Please ask your dentist about alternatives if you think your crown is standing out too much from your other teeth. With modern materials, crowns can be much more discreet and natural looking.
A bridge is a cost-effective way to replace a lost tooth (or even two teeth). The teeth on either side of the gap support crowns that suspend a tooth over the empty space. A repair like this looks natural, is fixed in place and is less costly than a dental implant. However, diligent oral hygiene is key to making this treatment successful.
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