Dental Crowns

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Cavities in teeth can be rather painful to say the least. They are normally caused by tooth decay, although can be created by an accident – for example, if the tooth is chipped. When the cavity is so severe that the health of a tooth is under threat then it’s clearly time for action. This is where dental crowns come into play. Designed to help save a tooth and alleviate pain for the patient they can be a source of relief for many people.

What Is A Dental Crown?

Simply, a dental crown, or a ‘cap’ as it’s sometimes known, is a dental restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant. Their main purpose is to boost the strength and appearance of teeth.

As mentioned, crowns may be used as a solution for severe cavities but did you know they can also serve to assist patients who may have discoloured fillings, as well as aid a root filling in need of a cap for protection and help hold a denture or bridge in its place.

Crowns can be made from different materials, although most are fashioned from porcelain bonded to precious metal. These are designed to look natural and normally used for front teeth. Other materials that might be used include glass, all-ceramic crowns and gold alloy crowns.

How Are Dental Crowns Put Into Place?

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OK, here’s how the procedure works. First, the dentist will shape the tooth in order to allow the crown to fit snugly. Once this is done the dentist will then take a mould of the prepared tooth. They may also take an impressions

Once the tooth is shaped, the dentist will take an impression of the way the patient bites together. A temporary crown may be fitted in the meantime before the permanent one is ready.

When the patient and dentist is happy with the way the cap fits, as well as its appearance, it can then be fixed into place. This is carried out using special dental cement, or sometimes adhesive. The aim is to create a seal in order to hold the crown in the right place.

Be aware that you will require at least two visits to the dentists – firstly for the preparation, impression and temporary crown and secondly for the permanent crown to be fitted.

Is There Anything Else I Need To Be Aware Of?

graftAs you may expect for similar procedures, the patient may feel some discomfort for the first few days adjusting to the feel of the crown. However, it’s unlikely to cause any disruption and within days it should not be so noticeable.

In terms of appearance, the crown can be shaped and coloured in order to fit in with the rest of the teeth. With a natural feel, it will be difficult for people to spot the crown and as such the patient should be content not to feel to self conscious about the cap.

Crowns can last for many years, providing they are looked after. While the cap cannot decay, around it decay can form so patients need to keep this area – as well as, of course – the rest of the teeth in good order!

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