What is a crown?

Crowns are used on teeth that are cracked or broken down to restore them to their normal shape and size. This is an artificial covering that will both strengthen and improve the appearance of teeth, and can also be referred to as a ‘cap’.  Crowns can also be used on teeth that are badly shaped or discoloured, or when a regular filling will not properly protect the tooth. They can be made of many different materials, either metal (gold) or tooth coloured (ceramic).

What is a bridge?

A bridge is a fixed, or non-removable prosthesis constructed to replace one or more missing teeth. The teeth on either side of the existing space are prepared for crowns, which anchor the bridge to restore functionality as well as aesthetics.

What’s involved in getting a crown?

One of the most important aspects of getting a crown is ensuring that it looks as natural as possible. To prepare a tooth for a crown, a layer is removed from the surface of the tooth so that the crown can fit over it. An impression of the tooth and gum is made with a digital scanner, and emailed to the lab for the crown fabrication. A temporary crown is fitted over the tooth while we wait for the permanent version to be made.  On your return visit, the temporary crown will be removed and replaced with the stronger permanent crown, which will be far more resilient.

Types of crowns

The type of material crowns are made of vary depending on their use and position in the mouth:

  • Gold crowns are the strongest and most similar to the natural properties of teeth, and are used when the appearance of the crown isn’t important
  • Porcelain-over-metal crowns are used when both colour and strength are important
  • Ceramic crowns are used when the appearance of the tooth is the highest priority
  • Metal crowns are used specifically for baby teeth and come prefabricated so they can be applied in a single visit.

What are the costs involved with getting a crown?

The materials and procedure will vary from patient to patient, so a chat with your dentist will help determine what’s best for you. We will also advise you of any possible complications, and help plan a cosmetic look for your crown that will complement your natural teeth.

How do I look after my crown?

It’s important to avoid chewing very hard food such as ice, or other objects, as this can crack the veneer of the crown. In addition to brushing twice a day and regular visits to your dentist, it’s vital to clean between your teeth to avoid gum disease and tooth decay. You can use dental floss or specially shaped brushes called inter-dental cleaners.

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Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.