Why do I need a crown?

When a tooth has become broken down through decay, trauma or large failed restorations, a crown can be placed to strengthen the underlying tooth. Sometimes after root canal treatment, crowns are used to strengthen the tooth which can become weak.

Crowns can also be used to improve the aesthetics of your smile, but this should not be your first treatment choice as crowning involves removal of tooth substance. You should discuss with your dental practitioner if you are thinking of crowns to improve your smile.

What happens during a crown preparation appointment?

Crowns cover the entire tooth above the gum line and are used to restore teeth that are damaged, discoloured or misshaped. Your dentist will numb the tooth if it is still vital (alive) and then prepare the tooth according to what type of crown is needed.

If the tooth has had root canal treatment a post may be placed in the root canal to support the crown. After preparation your dentist will take an impression that will be sent to the laboratory to make the crown.

A temporary crown will be placed until the final crown is ready.

At your following dental appointment your temporary crown will be removed and your new crown will be fitted. Your dentist will ensure your bite is correct and that you are happy with the appearance.

What is a crown?

A crown or cap is a dental restoration which completely covers the tooth above the gumline. Crowns are made of various materials. In the past crowns were usually made of a layer of porcelain over a metal alloy substructure or gold alloys were used.

In more recent times crowns that contain no metal have become more popular due to cosmetic demands. Metal free crowns prevent the dark appearance above the gumline that can happen with old porcelain fused to metal crowns. These metal free crowns are made of zirconia and are very popular in cosmetic dentistry.

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