What are dental crowns?
Dental crowns, sometimes known as ‘caps’, are artificial coverings which fit over the top of damaged teeth which have been specially prepared. The dental crown or cap gives the appearance of natural, healthy teeth while making the tooth strong.
Dental crowns can be made of a wide range of materials. The majority of crowns are made of porcelain bonded to precious metals. The precious metal base gives the crown strength and the porcelain layers on top give the crown a very natural look. Fully porcelain crowns are also available which look very natural, however these are not always as strong as bonded crowns and as such are generally used for front teeth. A more modern crown is the all-ceramic crown which offers the strength of the bonded crown and the natural appearance of the porcelain crown. Glass crowns are also available which can be used anywhere in the mouth and look very natural. Gold has been used for creating crowns and filling for many centuries. Today, gold is mixed with other metals to form an alloy which gives the same look while being stronger than gold alone.
When would I need dental crowns?
Dental crows, or caps, are used to repair teeth which have been partially broken, worn down, weakened by decay or a very large filling, had root fillings and require protection and they can also help to hold bridges or dentures firmly in place. They can also be used for cosmetic reasons including covering discoloured fillings.
What is the process involved in fitting dental crowns?
Fitting dental crowns or caps normally requires a couple of visits to the dentist. Firstly, the dentist will prepare the teeth for the crown by removing a small amount of the surface of the tooth to alloy the crown to bond properly. Then moulds are taken to ensure that the crown which is created fits perfectly. After the crown or cap is made, the dentist will fit it to the tooth on the next visit. To do this they will use a special bonding adhesive which creates a strong bond between tooth and crown.
In root filled teeth, it may be required to fit a post into the tooth root prior to fitting the crown or cap. The post gives added stability and support to the crown to help it remain in place.
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