What is a crown in dental treatment?

Dental Crowns Blog

Are you suffering from a decayed, broken tooth or an aesthetic issue, and looking for a fix?

Why not look into getting a dental crown?

The dental crown is a perfect option when there is not enough remaining tooth to support a filling. Crowns can protect a weak tooth by strengthening it and preventing further damages, breakages or decay from occurring.

Crowns are usually made from porcelain or gold fixtures and are used to encase a tooth by covering the entire exterior layer.

Other patients may choose dental crowns solely for the aesthetic reason to change the shape or colour of a tooth.

How does a dental crown work?

The dental crown procedure takes three dental visits; the first for a check-up and clean, second to take impressions and apply a temporary crown, and the final to cement the permanent crown into place.

First appointment

The first dental appointment is during a check-up and clean, where the dentist will also examine and take x-rays to decide whether you are a suitable candidate for a crown. During this appointment, you will organise a callback date to have impressions and scans taken.

Second appointment

During the second appointment the dentist will begin the crown treatment by preparing your tooth. Preparing your tooth involves removing the outer layer to make sufficient room for a crown. All the damaged or decayed areas of the tooth will be removed.

The crown will be the same size as the removed layer.

The dentist will take an impression and scans of your tooth, which will be sent to the dental laboratory to manufacture your crown. This will usually take two weeks.

You will usually receive a temporary crown before leaving the dentist, which will provide short term protection while your permanent crown is being made. While the temporary dental crown is in place, you should avoid sticky, chewy and hard foods as they can pull or break this crown off.

Thirds appointment

Once the dentist receives your permanent crown, you will return for your third and final appointment.

The dentist will remove your temporary crown and check the fit and colour of your permanent crown.

If the crown fits, the dentist will begin cementing it in place over your tooth.

How to take care of your crown

You should take care of your crown like you would any other tooth. You should be brushing twice a day, flossing and rinsing your mouth out.

Maintaining excellent dental hygiene will protect your dental health and ensure your crown lasts for approximately 10 years.

What problems can happen with a dental crown?

  • Discomfort or sensitivity – Newly fitted dental crowns may be sensitive and feel uncomfortable, however this should go away. If pain or sensitivity on biting down continues, you must contact your dentist as the crown may be too high on the tooth.
  • Loose crown – Sometimes crowns can become loose due to cement being washed away. If this occurs, contact your dentist.
  • Chipped crown – Porcelain crowns can chip, like any tooth. For small chips, composite resin can be used, but if the chip is large, a replacement crown may be required.
  • Crown comes off – Sometimes a crown can fall off due to a few reasons. Including underlying decay of the tooth or the cement becoming loose. If this happens, you should clean the crown and call your dentist as they will give you instructions to do until you can be seen.

Cosmetic alternatives to a crown

For patients solely looking for a cosmetic option to fix discolouration, then dental veneers are a great option. Veneers are thin porcelain tooth-coloured shells that cover the front surface of a tooth to provide a beautiful natural appearance.

Small chips and breakages in teeth can be fixed by dental filling material, which is much cheaper and quite effective.

Teeth whitening at Iris Dental using ZOOM! whitening is a safe and cost-effective way of removing stains and discolouration to achieve a brighter, beautiful smile.

At Iris Dental, our experienced team provides high quality care and service to all patients, as our priority is to help all patients achieve excellent dental health. Our dentists offer treatments from general checkups and cleans, to more involved treatments and cosmetic options.

For more information on dental crowns, other treatments or to book in for an appointment with Iris Dental, please click here.

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