A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is cemented over a tooth. It covers the tooth and restores its shape, size, strength and/or improves its appearance.

A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:

  • To protect a weak tooth from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
  • To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
  • To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
  • To hold a dental bridge in place
  • To cover misshapen or severely discoloured teeth
  • To cover a dental implant

What steps are involved in preparing a tooth for a crown?

Preparing a tooth for a crown usually requires two visits to the dentist, the first step involves examining and preparing the tooth, the second visit involves the cementing or bonding of the permanent crown.

First Visit

First Visit

Examining and preparing the tooth. At the first visit in preparation for a crown, your dentist may take a few X-rays to check the roots of the tooth receiving the crown and surrounding bone. If the tooth has extensive decay or if there is a risk of infection or injury to the tooth’s pulp, a root canal treatment may first be advised.
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Preparing Your Tooth For A Crown

Preparing Your Tooth For A Crown

Before the process of making your crown has begun, your dentist will anaesthetise (numb) your tooth and the gum tissue around it. Next, the tooth receiving the crown is filed down along the chewing surface and sides to make room for the crown. The amount removed depends on the type of crown used. If, on the other hand, a large area of the tooth is missing (due to decay or...
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The Impressions

The Impressions

The impressions are sent to a dental laboratory where the crown will be manufactured. The crown is usually returned to be fitted in 3 weeks. If your crown is made of porcelain, your dentist will also select the shade that most closely matches the colour of the neighbouring teeth. During this first visit your dentist will make a temporary crown to cover and protect the prepared tooth while the crown...
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Final Visit

Final Visit

At your final visit, your dentist will remove your temporary crown and check the fit and colour of the permanent crown. If everything is acceptable, the new crown will be permanently cemented in place.  If everything is acceptable, a local anaesthetic will be used to numb the tooth and the new crown is permanently cemented in place.
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FAQS

What Types of Crowns Are Available?

Crowns are made of a variety of materials and new materials are being introduced all the time. We offer the following options.

Porcelain bonded to metal: These crowns are made up of a metal base with porcelain fused or bonded to its surface. It is considered to be a robust crown although occasionally small pieces of porcelain may chip away from the underlying metal. Another disadvantage is that the crown is thicker which means that the dentist has to remove more tooth substance during the preparation. Finally, a metal band around the neck of the root may show over time. This can be quite unsightly on front teeth.

Ceramic crowns – E-max and Zirconia: These cosmetic crowns are made purely from ceramic and no other material. They are made from a translucent material which means that they look very natural and blend in well with your natural teeth. Because these crowns are thinner it means that less tooth substance needs to be removed. These crowns are still very strong and your dentist will advise you as to which type of ceramic crown would be most suitable for your mouth.

Precious metal (gold and palladium): these crowns are very strong and hard-wearing but are not usually used at the front of the mouth, where they are highly visible.

How should I care for my temporary dental crown?

Because temporary dental crowns are just a temporary fix until a permanent crown is ready, most dentists suggest that a few precautions be taken with your temporary crown. These include:

  • Avoid sticky, chewy foods (for example, chewing gum, caramel), which have the potential of pulling off the crown.
  • Minimise use of the side of your mouth with the temporary crown. Shift the bulk of your chewing to the other side of your mouth.
  • Avoid chewing hard foods (such as raw vegetables), which could dislodge or break the crown.
  • Slide flossing material out by letting go of one end (rather than lifting out) when cleaning your teeth. Lifting the floss out, as you normally would, might pull off the temporary crown.
What problems could develop with a dental crown?

Discomfort or sensitivity. Your newly crowned tooth may be sensitive immediately after the procedure as the anaesthesia begins to wear off. If the tooth that has been crowned still has a nerve in it, you may experience some heat and cold sensitivity. Your dentist may recommend that you brush your teeth with toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. Pain or sensitivity that occurs when you bite down usually means that the crown is too high on the tooth. If this is the case, call your dentist. He or she can easily fix this problem.

Chipped crown. Crowns made of all porcelain can sometimes chip. If the chip is small, a composite resin can be used to repair the chip with the crown remaining in your mouth. If the chipping is extensive, the crown may need to be replaced.

Loose crown. Sometimes the cement washes out from under the crown. Not only does this allow the crown to become loose, it allows bacteria to leak in and cause decay to the tooth that remains. If your crown feels loose, contact your dentist.

Dark line on crowned tooth next to the gum line. A dark line next to the gum line of your crowned tooth is normal, particularly if you have a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown. This dark line is simply the metal of the crown showing through. We aim to avoid this by providing you with all ceramic crowns.

How long do dental crowns last?

On average, dental crowns last between 5 and 15 years. The life span of a crown depends on the amount of “wear and tear” the crown is exposed to, how well you follow good oral hygiene practices, and your personal mouth-related habits (you should avoid such habits as grinding or clenching your teeth, chewing ice, biting your fingernails and using your teeth to open packaging).

Does a crowned tooth require special care?

While a crowned tooth does not require any special care, remember that simply because a tooth is crowned does not mean the underlying tooth is impervious to decay or gum disease. Therefore, continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day – especially around the crown area where the gum meets the tooth.

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General Dentistry Treatments

Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene

Gum disease affects a large proportion of the population. Oral hygiene, genetics and lifestyle factors all play a part.
Air-polish

Air-polish

We use the state of the art EMS AIRFLOW® – scientifically proven to gently but effectively remove staining from your teeth.

Emergencies

Emergencies

If you have a problem such as pain, broken teeth or swelling, we can help.

Tooth Removal

Tooth Removal

Teeth that cannot be restored may need to be removed. We can help with this.

Check-ups

Check-ups

Regular dental examinations help protect not just your oral health, but also your overall health.

Fillings

Fillings

A filling restores a hole in a tooth, or repairs a chipped tooth and returns it to its original shape.

Bridges

Bridges

A dental bridge is used to replace a missing tooth using a pontic (fake tooth) bonded to an adjacent tooth or teeth.

Crowns

Crowns

dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is cemented over a tooth.

Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Treatment

Root canal therapy is needed when the pulp in a tooth becomes inflamed and infected from a build-up of bacteria.

Dentures

Dentures

Dentures are removable false teeth that are made of acrylic resin and can include a metal framework.

Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene

Gum disease affects a large proportion of the population. Oral hygiene, genetics and lifestyle factors all play a part.

Air-polish

Air-polish

We use the state of the art EMS AIRFLOW® – scientifically proven to gently but effectively remove staining from your teeth.

Emergencies

Emergencies

If you have a problem such as pain, broken teeth or swelling, we can help.

Tooth Removal

Tooth Removal

Teeth that cannot be restored may need to be removed. We can help with this.

Check-ups

Check-ups

Regular dental examinations help protect not just your oral health, but also your overall health.

Fillings

Fillings

A filling restores a hole in a tooth, or repairs a chipped tooth and returns it to its original shape.

Bridges

Bridges

A dental bridge is used to replace a missing tooth using a pontic (fake tooth) bonded to an adjacent tooth or teeth.

Crowns

Crowns

dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is cemented over a tooth.

Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Treatment

Root canal therapy is needed when the pulp in a tooth becomes inflamed and infected from a build-up of bacteria.

Dentures

Dentures

Dentures are removable false teeth that are made of acrylic resin and can include a metal framework.