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What is a crown?

The crown of a tooth is that part which is visible in the mouth. An artificial crown is used to protect and restore a broken, weakened or heavily filled tooth. They are also used to improve the appearance of discoloured or crooked teeth.

What is a crown made of?

Crowns can be made of a variety of different materials and new materials are continually being introduced. Some of the most popular options are listed below.

How is a crown prepared?

The dentist will prepare the tooth to the ideal shape for the crown. This will involve removing most of the outer surface, and leaving a stronger inner core. Once the tooth has been shaped, the dentist will then take an impression (mould) of the tooth and one of the opposite jaw.

Your moulds are then sent to the dental technician so that they can make your crown. It takes the dental technician two weeks to make your crown.

What happens in between appointments?

A temporary crown made of plastic or metal will be fixed over the tooth until the permanent crown is made. You can chew on the temporary crown but it won’t be as strong as the finished one.

How is the crown fitted?

The dentist will try your crown in to make sure it fits, and if you are happy they will fix it in place with special dental cement or adhesive. The cement forms a seal to hold the crown in place.

Does it hurt to have a tooth prepared for a crown?

No, you will have a local anaesthetic and the preparation should feel no different from a filling.

How do I care for my crown?

The crown itself cannot decay, but decay can start where the edge of the crown joins the tooth. Therefore, to prevent decay affecting the crown, it is important to keep this area just as clean as you would your natural teeth. Brush for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and clean in between your teeth with interdental brushes or floss.

What are the benefits of dental crowns?