A Dental Crown is sometimes referred to as a ‘cap’. It is a custom moulded dental apparatus that sits directly over the existing tooth to encase it and hold it together.
Although they can be used to improve the cosmetic appearance of malformed, discoloured or misshaped teeth, crowns will most often be used to restore ‘at risk’ teeth with large, worn fillings, cracks, very large cavities or that have undergone Root Canal treatment.
There are a few steps involved in getting a Dental Crown fitted. Diagnostic moulds and x-rays are taken to evaluate the tooth and determine if any treatment is required prior to starting the crown.
The tooth then needs to be shaped and prepared to receive the crown. A mould of the tooth is made and used to create an exact model from which the crown is prepared. The creation of the model and the crown itself is a specialised practice and can sometimes take a week or more. To ensure the ‘at risk’ tooth is protected during this time, it is usually fitted with a temporary crown, which is held in place with special dental cement.
If you return to have the permanent crown fitted, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and cement before checking the fit of the new permanent crown. Once it is confirmed as fitting well, the crown is secured in place with permanent cement.
On average, dental crowns last between 5 and 15 years depending on how well they are looked after. The crown itself cannot decay, but decay can start where the edge of the crown joins the tooth so continued oral hygiene is important.
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