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What is a Dental Crown?

A crown can be placed over a natural tooth in order to help restore its strength and appearance. Normally they are used to protect or cover a damaged or severely decayed tooth. They are also often used when your tooth is no longer able to support a standard filling.

What is a crown made from?

It is possible to manufacture a crown from a variety of materials. Normally crowns are made from ceramic or porcelain for a natural finish, although gold and metal alloys are also used for maximum strength (normally on the back chewing teeth). Your crown will be carefully matched in size and shape to ensure that it feels comfortable, secure and strong when fitted.

Fitting a crown:

Before your crown is placed, the original tooth must be prepared. Any old fillings and decay will be removed and the tooth will be made smaller to make sure there is room for the new crown to be placed on top. A local anaesthetic will be given during this process if required.

An impression will be taken and used to produce your crown. The manufacture will take around 2 weeks – during which time a temporary restoration will be placed.

At your fitting appointment the crown will be checked for fit and size to ensure optimum comfort. It will then be securely fixed to your old tooth with a dental adhesive. Following the fitting of your crown you will need to be careful when eating. Avoid biting on any hard foods so that you don’t cause any damage.

Is there an alternative to a crown?

If a crown has been suggested then it’s likely there aren’t many other alternatives available – apart from extraction of the tooth (which is best avoided if at all possible).

Sometimes, a filling can be placed instead – but if the tooth isn’t strong enough to support it for very long it’s likely you’ll require a crown further down the line anyway. It may be more cost effective to fit it now.