What is a crown?
A crown is laboratory made, bespoke fitting cap that sits over your tooth. It acts like a helmet to protect the tooth and is often placed to prevent a weak tooth from cracking.
It can be made from of a variety of materials, which are listed below. Your dentist will discussed the various options, including the pro’s and con’s, with you prior to treatment.
- Metal (Silver)
- Metal bonded to Ceramic
- Full Ceramic
What is involved with the treatment
The process is normally carried out over two appointments.
On the first appointment, the area is numbed up. Once you are comfortable and fully numb, a minimal amount of tooth structure/filling is removed to make space for the crown. This is often referred to as the crown prep.
This is to ensure that the crown made by the laboratory fits perfectly into your bite. If no tooth is removed, the crown can be very bulky and proud on the bite.
A precise mould/ impression is taken of the area. The space created by the crown prep is then filled with a customized temporary crown material.
The impressions are then sent to a laboratory where they are able to recreate the area we have prepared and hand craft a specific crown for you, shaped to fit the tooth and even with your bite.
A week later, the work arrives back from the laboratory and is gently fitted and thoroughly assessed to ensure that it is comfortable, fits accurately, looks great and functions harmoniously so you can maximize your Sensational Smile.
Why may I need a crown?
Crowns are most often placed to protect weak teeth.
Teeth initially become weak due to dental decay, which is often treated by a filling. Repeated episodes of decay will result in the tooth becoming weaker and eventually the tooth will fracture leaving behind an even weaker tooth. A crown will then be essential to prevent the tooth from fracturing even further.
A crown is also advised after having root canal treatment.
Other indications for crowns are to improve the appearance of the tooth and to build up worn teeth, and thoroughly assessed to ensure that it is comfortable, fits accurately, looks great and functions harmoniously so you can maximize your Sensational Smile.
What are the main benefits?
A crown is inherently very strong as when it is being crafted, the end stage is when a crown is placed in a furnace at 950 degrees Celsius. Because of this process, the material is high strength. The crown also fits like a lock and key and is very precisely fitted to the tooth. The crown will strengthen the tooth protecting it from further damage.
An onlay is a partial crown, which requires less tooth reduction than a crown. It is lab made and hence stronger than any chair side filling. An onlay comes in the same materials as a crown, [metal (Silver), Gold, Composite Resin, Metal bonded to Ceramic, Full Ceramic] and the process is the same as that of a crown.
An inlay is a lab made filling, which requires less tooth reduction than an onlay. As it is lab made this makes it stronger than any chair side filling. An inlay comes in the same materials as a crown, [metal (Silver), Gold, Composite Resin, Metal bonded to Ceramic, Full Ceramic] and the process is the same as that of a crown.
What is a dental bridge?
A bridge is a false tooth, that looks and functions like a real tooth that is stuck onto one of the teeth next to the missing gap. It is fixed in place and not removable.
There are various types of bridge designs, the 2 main types are: -
- A conventional bridge is where the tooth or teeth next to the missing gap are shaped and joined together, with a false tooth in the middle.
- A Maryland bridge is a more conservative method whereby the false tooth is cemented onto one of the teeth next to the missing gap. Most of the time it will not require tooth removal and hence is very conservative on the tooth. The tooth that is supporting the bridge must however be in good health structurally.
What is the process of having this treatment?
The process is very similar to how a crown is made. The tooth next to the gap is prepared (if needed) and an accurate impression is taken. The lab then makes a tailored bridge, which is given back to us a week later and bonded into place to replace your gap.
It is a good alternative to a denture as it is fixed in place, especially if there is not enough support for a dental implant.
Crowns and bridges are common restorations that keep your smile functional and attractive. Get details on treatment at Sensational Smiles at 020 8629 1433.
Before and After images of our patients