A crown can help protect a weak tooth from breaking and can also be used to hold together parts of a cracked tooth. There are a few other situations in which a dental crown may be needed including:
- To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
- To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn't a lot of tooth left
- To cover severely discoloured teeth
- To restore a dental implant
- To make a cosmetic improvement to a tooths colour or shape.
What types of crowns are available? Permanent crowns can be made from all-metal (such as gold or another alloy), porcelain-fused-to-metal, or all-ceramic.
- All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide better natural colour match than any other crown type. They require less tooth to be drilled away, which helps keep the tooth strong. These crowns are a good choice for front and back teeth.
- Gold crowns are very strong and long-lasting. They are more resistant in people who grind or clench their teeth. Gold crowns are most often used on the back teeth where they are less noticeable.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns were the old fashioned way of making crowns look white. They were used before the ceramics and porcelains became strong enough. Now they are not often used.
What is involved in getting a crown? The procedure of having a crown placed usually involves two appointments. At the first appointment, one of our dentists will examine your tooth and prepare it to receive the crown. This usually involves filing down and sometimes filling the tooth. At this appointment, we also take an impression or 3D scan of your tooth, and those surrounding it. This is then sent off to our lab and used to make your permanent crown. Once this is ready, we'll see you again for your second appointment and place the crown. We make a temporary crown to get you through the few weeks it takes to get the new one ready.
How long do dental crowns last? On average, dental crowns last between 5 and 15 years. The life span of a crown depends on the amount of wear and tear the crown is exposed to and how well you follow good oral hygiene practices. It's also helpful to avoid such habits as grinding or clenching your teeth, chewing ice, biting fingernails, and using your teeth to open packaging.
Does a crowned tooth require special care? While a crowned tooth does not require any special care, remember that simply because a tooth is crowned does not mean the underlying tooth is protected from decay or gum disease.
Therefore, continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day – especially around the crown area where the gum meets the tooth. Antibacterial mouth rinse can also help. Your regular dental hygienist appointments also provide a good opportunity for your crown to be checked and thoroughly cleaned.
To find out more about having a crown or to book an appointment, contact our friendly reception team on (09) 818 8855 today.