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Crowns

Dental crowns are restorations that protect damaged, cracked or broken down teeth. A crown strengthens your existing damaged tooth so as to preserve its functionality.
Dental crowns are also commonly known as caps because a crown sits over your existing tooth covering the entire outer surface similar to how a baseball cap would cover your head.

Why May I needs Crowns?

  • If your tooth has undergone significant decay and there is not enough tooth structure remaining to support a filling (or an onlay) a crown will restore appearance and maintain functionality.
  • If a large portion of your tooth has fractured and it cannot be built up using traditional composite bonding techniques (white filling material). If you have a large cavity then a crown offers more protection to your remaining tooth than a large composite filling or an inlay would.
  • If you have had a dental implant to replace a missing tooth, a crown will be fitted to the abutment of the titanium implant (the crown will be the bit that you see in the mouth). The picture to the right shows an implant retained crown.
  • Following root canal treatment a crown is often needed to strengthen the tooth as teeth can become brittle after having your teeth root treated.
  • If you grind your teeth and have a poor diet, acid erosion may reduce your teeth to a point where the only option available is to crown them.
  • For cosmetic reasons to improve the aesthetics of your smile, you may opt for all porcelain cosmetic crowns on heavily restored teeth.

Are dental crowns always the best option?

Crowns should not be the first treatment of choice just to improve the aesthetics of your teeth, because a dentist needs to remove a portion of the original tooth. Less invasive alternatives include veneers or dental bonding. Crowns are required when the strength of the tooth supporting the restoration is compromised since veneers and dental bonding restorations are only as strong as the supporting remaining tooth and the bond to it.

What materials can crowns be made from?

In modern day dentistry there is a wide variety of precious dental materials to choose from. Some crowns are made from gold, where as others are made from an alloy of metals fused to a porcelain outer shell. After time, crowns that are made from a combination of metal fused to porcelain can begin to show dark gum lines that are not aesthetically attractive. All porcelain or ceramic crowns are the best choice for a natural cosmetic look where clinically they are the most appropriate choice.

How much do crowns cost?

There are many different brands and types of porcelain crowns and our costs vary, with the all porcelain and ceramic crowns being at the more expensive end of the scale.
We offer:
Full gold crowns – from £525
Porcelain fused to metal crowns -£520
We offer hi-strength reinforced porcelain/ceramic crowns. There are a few different types which vary in price and appearance, depending on the labatory we use, and the method of production used. The prices vary between £550 and £800.
These prices may increase if the tooth needs any additional work doing to it before the tooth is prepared for a crown, e.g., if the tooth has had decay removed from it then an inner core may need to be built up and possibly a post may need to be added to provide something for the crown to be put on to.

What does the procedure of having dental crowns fitted involve?

Once you have had a consultation with your dentist and discussed all the treatment options, your dentist will prepare the tooth ready to be crowned. The first stage is to clean the tooth, remove any decay and reshape it using a burr (a special dental drill for shaping teeth) under local anesthesia. The shape of the prepared tooth is usually tapered to allow the crown sit comfortably over the top of it. Once the tooth is prepared an impression (mould) of your teeth will be taken using special “dental putty”. This impression is sent to a dental laboratory who will use the impression of the prepared tooth as a guide to fabricate the new crown to the exact specification of the dentist and to fit perfectly. It usually takes between two to three weeks for a laboratory technician to custom fabricate your new crown. During this time your dentist will fit you with a temporary crown to cover and protect your prepared tooth.

On your second visit your dentist will remove the temporary crown and will sit the crown over your tooth to see if it fits with your smile correctly and is the right colour match and shape. Once you are both happy with the restoration and how it looks, your dentist will cement the crown firmly into place.

How long do crowns last?

This will depend largely on how well you look after your teeth. Dental crowns require the same level of care and attention as your natural teeth. Provided you have a good oral hygiene program and attend regular check ups at your dentist and do not suffer from teeth grinding, maintain a toothkind diet and do not do things like open beer bottles with your teeth then a high quality dental crown last 10-15 years on average.

We have a resident specialist in prosthodontics (crowns and bridges) at the practice, Dr Kerry Osborne-Smith, who is happy to see patients on referral for a specialist consultation as well as treating our own patients.

If you have any further questions then please do not hesitate to contact us at the practice on 01553 692296 or you can send us an e-mail by filling in your details on our ‘Contact us’ page.

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