Dental & Implant Centre in West Byfleet, Surrey
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Crowns

A crown is a strong, long-lasting way of restoring a tooth. It is often the best way to rebuild a tooth which has broken or been weakened by decay or a large filling. It may also be the best solution for improving the appearance of a heavily filled tooth.

A crown may also be known as a “cap”. It fits over the remaining parts of the tooth, strengthening it and giving it the shape and contour of a natural tooth. Similarly, if you have a dental implant, then this will be capped with a crown to replace the missing tooth.

Why might my dentist advise a crown?

There are a number of reasons your dentist might advise that you have a crown on your teeth:

  • the tooth may have been weakened by having a very large filling;
  • you may have discoloured fillings and would like to improve the appearance of the teeth;
  • you may have had a root filling which will need a crown to protect it;
  • you may have had an accident and damaged the tooth;
  • your tooth may have been fractured;
  • you may want to improve the appearance of your smile.

How long will a crown last?

This will depend very much on how strong the remaining tooth is, how heavy your bite is, and how well it is looked after with a good daily oral health regime and a healthy diet which reduces the amount of sugary food and drink. In such circumstances, a crown can last for many years.

What are crowns made of?

There are a variety of types of crown, for example porcelain, gold, porcelain bonded to precious metal, and ceramic. If a tooth is root-filled, it may need to have a metal or carbon fibre post fitted first to support or retain the crown. Selecting the best type of crown to fit your needs will depend on the necessity for strength and aesthetics. Your dentist will explain the differences and advise which is best for your circumstances, and cost will be taken into account.

Why might I be recommended to have a gold crown?

Gold, or more precisely a gold alloy, may be recommended for restoring badly damaged posterior teeth. It is a very workable metal, extremely strong and long lasting, will not chip or break and has the advantage of having the same ‘wear rate’ as tooth enamel so that it will not cause excessive wear on the teeth that it bites on. The only real disadvantage is its appearance, so we recommend gold crowns only for less visible teeth at the back of your mouth.

What is the procedure?

For us to prepare and fit of a conventional crown you will need 2 appointments. At your first one, your dentist will trim and adjust the remaining tooth to the required shape for the crown to go over it. If the tooth is very broken down then this may involve building up some of the tooth core with a strong filling material. An impression is then taken and sent to the technician who will make the crown. The colour will be carefully chosen to match your other teeth. A temporary crown will be made and cemented on to the tooth core, to last until your next appointment.
At your second appointment, the temporary crown will be removed, and the newly fabricated crown will be inserted and carefully assessed for fit, appearance and correct bite. Any necessary adjustments will be made and, when perfect, the crown will be securely cemented to the tooth core.