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Crowns: what are they, and why would I need one?

Crowns: what are they, and why would I need one?

What is a crown?

A crown is a special repair for a damaged tooth which fits over the old tooth and gives the appearance of your natural tooth. Crowns can be made of porcelain, ceramic, precious metals or a combination of a number of materials. Crowns can even be made of glass!

Why would I need a crown?

Your dentist might recommend a crown for a number of reasons. You may have a tooth which has been weakened by decay, or it’s very worn down. If you have a large filling, crowns can help cover and protect your original tooth and make it look like a natural tooth again. Cavities which have been filled with a root-canal filling may need a crown, and these are sometimes helped to stay in place with a dental post – essentially a post which is inserted to provide stability and support for your new crown. Crowns can also help hold a bridge or a denture in place.

How do crowns work?

Traditionally, crowns were made of precious metals – silver or gold – which were very long-lasting, but quite noticeable! Nowadays, patients have much more choice in the material of their crown. Most are made of porcelain bonded with precious metals, but all-ceramic crowns and glass crowns can look more natural and could be an option if you have concerns about allergens, or metals in your mouth, or if the crown is to be placed near the front of your mouth, where it will be more visible. Your dentist will talk to you about the best material for your situation.

You will usually need at least two appointments for your new crown. At the first, your dentist will prepare your natural tooth, take impressions and colour-match the surrounding teeth. This will make sure the new crown matches your original tooth as closely as possible. Your dentist will probably fit a temporary crown at this point, too, until your final crown is ready to be fitted.

At your second appointment, the final crown will be bonded to your original tooth with dental cement or adhesive. This adhesive will form a seal which protects your original tooth.

How do I care for my crown?

You should always remember to brush your crown carefully, using an interdental brush, floss and fluoride toothpaste to clean hard-to-reach spaces. Although your crown will not decay, you should remember to pay careful attention to the place where the crown meets your natural tooth to prevent any further decay to your original tooth. By practicing good oral hygiene and having regular dental check-ups, your crown should last you many years.

Springside Dental Practice offers a complete dental treatment service and is committed to exceptional patient care. To book an appointment with one of our clinical team, please call the Practice on 01460 61671.