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Dental Crowns

Some type of dental restoration is usually required if a tooth has become completely compromised, due to a cavity or various surgical procedures. A dental crown is a prosthetic cap that is fitted over a damaged tooth and cemented in place, mainly to protect the strength of the tooth, but also to alter its appearance.

Using a dental impression, dental professionals are able to shape a replacement tooth to cap the original, this can sometimes be a time consuming procedure – affected mainly by the choice of materials. For example, firing porcelain will make the new tooth stronger, but patients will have to wait a little bit longer for it. Advances in the dental science industry mean that better quality crowns are being constructed in greater numbers, computers are used to fashion hard-wearing caps that fit to the tiniest measurement, allowing for greater comfort and less irritation.

In a large majority of cases, a dental crown will be fitted over a tooth that has been treated by a root canal procedure, this means that the tooth is dead, but can still be preserved and protected under the cap. Following a surgical treatment like a root canal, the structure of the tooth is significantly weakened, causing it to become brittle. It’s necessary to apply a cap over what remains of the tooth, in order to shield it from impact or infection, whilst eliminating the need for an extraction. Damaged teeth that have been treated with a dental crown are likely to last much longer than those that have not.

If a patient has had further dental treatments carried out, such as extractions or fillings, and they need to have a partial denture fitted, there has to be some strong teeth remaining for the denture to be secured to. If this is not the case, a dental crown – known as a ‘surveyed crown’ – may be fitted to provide support for the denture, strengthening the weakened tooth in the process.

Treatments at the Pearl Dental Clinic will involve several appointments. The first sitting is to prepare the patient for the procedure by explaining the exactly what will happen at each stage and then an impression will be taken of their teeth. The tooth in question is then filed down to a shape that fits under the dental crown, and a temporary cap is attached to protect it until the permanent one is ready. The second appointment will be approximately two weeks later and the patient can then expect to have their permanent crown fitted smoothly into place. During the procedure there should be no pain at all, as a local anaesthetic is usually applied – although may not be necessary if the root of the tooth has been removed. In the few days after the crown has been fitted, there may be some adjustment required, as the patient gets used to the feel of it while they are eating and brushing.

If you’re considering this surgery for a damaged or broken tooth, you might be pleasantly surprised by the results. A good quality dental crown will go completely unnoticed by those around you because it’s shape, size, and colour will blend in perfectly with the teeth next to it, making it look completely natural. How long the dental crown lasts depends on what it is made out of and how well you take care of it. Most crowns are made from highly durable substances, and with good care can last for many years. Average lifespan of a dental crown with good maintenance is around 10 years although some patients have had their crowns for a far longer period.