A crown is a full tooth cover restoration that is placed over a cracked, broken, root filled or a heavily filled tooth to protect the tooth against fracture. Some people refer to dental crowns as caps. Dental crowns are similar in shape and shade to dental veneers except that crowns cover all the surfaces of a tooth whereas veneers only cover the visible outside surface of the tooth.
Indications for having a dental crown
- If a large part of a tooth has fractured and the rest of the tooth is at risk of further fracture, a dental crown can protect the remaining part of the tooth from fracture.
- If a significant part of a tooth is lost to dental decay and there is a risk that if a filling is used to restore the tooth, the filling could come out or fracture. Crowns are a lot stronger that fillings and better able to protect against tooth fracture.
- During root canal treatment, a large portion of the tooth is removed and the remaining tooth tissue can fracture and discolour after root canal treatment. A crown can increase the success rate of a root canal treated tooth and protect the structure of the tooth and increase its longevity and its aesthetics.
- If a patient grinds their teeth and his/her teeth have chipped and fractured, dental crowns offer protection against further tooth fracture.
- For cosmetic purposes, people who have large mismatched fillings on their front teeth may opt to have crowns to improve their smile.
What types of crowns are available?
All Ceramic Crown – Cosmetically these crowns look the best and are usually indicated for front teeth. These crowns have no grey metal inside them, so if in time the gum recedes, there will be no grey metal margin on show around the crown. At Pearl dental clinic we offer single visit CEREC ceramic crowns for those patients looking for aesthetic crowns that can be carried out in a single visit.
Strength wise, depending on the type of the crown, most of the ceramic crowns are as strong as the conventional crowns. An example of this would be Zirconium containing crowns that have a tooth coloured Zirconium core with porcelain on top.
Metal Ceramic Crown – These crowns have a metal core inside and porcelain bonded to their outside. The core inside can be made from precious, semi-precious or non-precious metals and it provides the strength behind these crowns. However the porcelain bonded to the metal cores is not very strong and from time to time can fracture.
Metal Ceramic crowns are usually used on back teeth although some dentists use them for front teeth as well. The aesthetics of Metal Ceramic crowns is not as good as all ceramic crowns, however their strength is higher.
All Zirconium Crowns – These crowns look yellow/brown in colour and are usually used for back teeth. These crowns have no porcelain, so the risk of fracture is less than all ceramic and metal ceramic crowns but as they have no porcelain, their aesthetics is compromised compared to all ceramic and metal ceramic crowns.
In terms of tooth reduction these crowns need minimal tooth reduction and are less damaging to the tooth as less tooth tissue is removed for their construction. All Zirconium crowns are ideal for situations where gold crowns historically have been the best option.
Gold Crowns – These crowns are the strongest crowns available but are poor from an aesthetic point of view. They are usually used for back teeth especially in people who suffer from grinding and clenching habits.
Gold crowns can be made very thin and as such need minimal tooth reduction and are less destructive of tooth tissue compared to metal ceramic and all ceramic crowns.
What is the procedure for having dental crowns?
- Assessment of the tooth clinically and with an X-ray to ensure the roots of the tooth are sound and the tooth is vital. Preparation of the tooth for a crown and taking impressions for the lab to construct the crown. A temporary crown is provided in the meantime to protect the tooth.
- Optional review at the lab for crown shade selection in the case of front crowns.
1-2 weeks later
- Fit of the final crown once its returned from the lab.
How long do crowns last?
Dental crown longevity depends on how well they are maintained. With good maintenance they can last around 7-15 years.
Dental Crown Video
All Ceramic Crown
The tooth is prepared and an impression taken.
A crown is made from the impression and fitted to the tooth.
Our Practice is open seven days a week from 8am till 11pm. You can book a free consultation with one of our experienced dentists by calling 0208 547 9997 or emailing us for further information or to arrange a consultation.