Dental crowns are a very common tooth restoration option that we provide at Sensational Smiles. Below, Dr. Suril Amin answers the most common questions we get asked about dental crowns, such as the types of dental crowns, the preparation procedure, and more.
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown is like a cap that is placed on a tooth to restore its normal appearance and function, as well as protect the compromised tooth from further damage.
The main reasons for placing crowns are:
1. To protect the remaining tooth structure – teeth are sometimes left weak following dental decay, chips, fractures, and even certain procedures like root canal treatment. The crown works like a helmet, covering the tooth and holding it together.
2. To improve the cosmetics of teeth – a crown will cover your entire tooth so it can be used to improve cosmetics of a single tooth or a whole arch.
- The tooth is ground away a little to make space for the crown. The amount that needs to be ground away will depend upon the skill of the dentist and the material used.
- A temporary crown is placed, and a scan is taken of the tooth.
- Two weeks later, a final permanent crown is placed.
Is a crown tooth as strong as a natural tooth?
No, a healthy tooth is the strongest and will last the longest. Any type of dental work you need will have a failure rate. That means it will eventually fail at some stage, whereas if your natural tooth is healthy and you take care of it, it can last a whole lifetime. The longevity of the crown will depend upon how much tooth you have holding the crown in, the skill of the dentist, and the material used.
Can you get crowns for all your teeth?
Yes, we often do this when you have tooth wear or when we want to improve the cosmetics of your teeth. A more conservative method is using veneers whereby only the front visible surface of your teeth is replaced with porcelain.
What colour are crowns?
If we are doing just one or two, we match them to your existing teeth. If we are doing your whole smile, then we can choose a new shade that can be lighter. This is a discussion we have with you when planning out your treatment.
How do crowns stay on teeth?
There are two ways:
- We rely on the tooth form to provide retention. This concept is kind of like Morse taper – like a friction fit. The conical shapes are closely matched in angle so that the surfaces contact precisely all the way around and over the entire length of the surface from end to end. It is this close contact that forces out the air and then makes the surfaces stick together. We can achieve this if there is plenty of tooth structure remaining.
- When there is not enough tooth structure or we don’t want to over-prepare the tooth, we rely on cement. Nowadays, dental cement is very good, and we can rely on it almost exclusively in certain treatments like veneers and onlays.
How long does a crown last?
This depends on how much tooth you have before you crown it. If your tooth is very broken down and heavily filled before the crown, it will not last as long as a tooth that is in good condition. It is also important to have a good balanced bite.
For a good tooth, the crown is expected to last 10-15 years. Some last even longer, and we have had patients who had crowns done 40 years ago that are still in good condition.
Why do crowns fail?
There are many reasons. Some include:
- They debond – this can be easily rectified with re-cementation or a new crown.
- The crown fractures – older porcelain crowns were weaker, and you can sometimes see the porcelain chipping.
- The tooth fractures – this is a common cause and if the fracture is large, then the tooth may need to be extracted.
- Decay gets underneath them.
- Gum shrinkage – this can result in poor aesthetics where the margin is on show.
- The tooth becomes infected.
How much is a dental crown?
We charge £725 per tooth.
Can bottom teeth be crowned?
Yes, but sometimes it is not a good idea to crown the lower front teeth. This is because they are very small teeth, and by the time you have ground them down to make space for the crown, they will be even smaller. The more you grind away, the worse it is for the tooth. There are good alternatives to crowns, however, and we have never needed to crown a lower front tooth.
What is the best crown for teeth?
The choice of crown material will depend upon many factors and there are pros and cons for everything.
The main materials we use are:
- Emax Porcelain
Do crowns look like real teeth?
If proper care and attention is put into making them, they can look incredibly natural. If poor materials are chosen or the teeth are not prepared correctly, they will look fake. It is important to choose a dentist you are comfortable with, one who knows about the latest developments in dental technology and one who understands proper smile design.
Can crowns fix crooked teeth?
Yes, you can alter the arrangement of teeth with dental crowns. You can fix the size, shape, colour, and arrangement of teeth with crowns.
Can you whiten crowns on your teeth?
No, your natural teeth will become whiter with tooth whitening, but your crowns will not. If there is a drastic colour change, then your crowns may not match after the tooth whitening and you will probably need to get them changed.
Do crowns feel like natural teeth?
They should if done properly. Sometimes when porcelain teeth oppose porcelain teeth, you can have a clanging feeling and a noise because it is a bit more brittle than natural teeth. Gold and composite are probably the nicest feeling on the bite.
How do I schedule an appointment for a dental crown?
Call us today on 0208 643 5365 and the team will be delighted to help you.