Crowns & bridges
Crowns are an ideal way to rebuild teeth which have been broken, or have been weakened by decay or a very large filling. The crown fits right over the remaining part of the tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape and contour of a natural tooth. Crowns are sometimes also known as 'caps'.
There are a number of reasons why a dentist may advise crowning a tooth:
- the tooth may have been weakened by having a very large filling
- you may have discoloured fillings and would like to improve the appearance of the tooth
- you may have had a root filling which will need a crown to protect it
- you may have had an accident and damaged the tooth
- it may help hold a bridge or denture firmly in place.
Crowns are made of a variety of materials and new materials are being introduced all the time.
Here are some of the options available at present:
- Porcelain bonded to precious metal: this is what most crowns are made from. A precious metal base is made and layers of porcelain are then applied over it.
- Porcelain: traditionally these crowns were not as strong as bonded crowns but this has improved in recent years - they can look very natural and are most often used for front teeth.
- Precious metal (gold and palladium): these crowns are very strong and hard-wearing, but are usually used at the back of the mouth, where they are not visible.
- You will need to have at least two visits: the first for the preparation, impression, shade taking and fitting the temporary crown, and the second to fit the permanent crown.
- Because the shape of the crown will be slightly different from the shape of you tooth before it was crowned, you may be aware of it to begin with. Within a few days it should feel fine, and you will not notice it. The crown may need some adjustment if it feels higher than the surrounding teeth.