Basic Info About Dental Crowns

A crown is a restoration which fits over the remaining tooth,after special preparation and typically restores the shape,appearance and function of the tooth.
If a tooth has been subject to decay,had very large fillings placed in it or has been weakened by trauma or had root-canal treatment,protection of the remaining tooth is often indicated to prevent possible fracture and the need for extraction.Other reasons for providing crowns include masking of discoloration,changing the shape of teeth and providing support for missing teeth in the form of a bridge or denture.
The available types of crowns are:
-metal crowns,which are the most commonly placed crowns on back teeth;
-metal and porcelain crowns.These have an inner core of metal which fits over the prepared tooth and then the porcelain is bonded by a special process in the laboratory over the metal to give a strong,durable and aesthetic result;
-porcelain and all ceramic crowns.There is a wide range of this type of crown available today and technology can now provide very strong and aesthetic crowns that are free of metal.The technical processes are normally complex and these crowns are usually more expensive as a result;
-other materials include composite and acrylic which are like hard wearing ‘plastic’ and may be indicated as long term temporary or even permanent crowns in some cases.
Before treatment,the dentist will discuss with you the advantages and disadvantages of having a crown placed on a tooth.The advantages include the protection and restoration of a damaged tooth, together with possible improvements in appearance.However,they typically involve the removal of further tooth as part of the process of creating space for the metal and porcelain of the crown (the metal crown requires less space).
Where teeth are not healthy and root-canal is required to be carried out,a period of typically six months is advised to assess the result of the treatment before proceeding with the placement of the crown.
During treatment,the tooth will be prepared (shaped) to allow space for the new crown and an impression of the tooth taken.Normally up to 2 weeks later your dentist will fit the new crown on to the tooth with a permanent cement.
After treatment,the crown may feel different to the previous shape of the tooth before the treatment was carried out.This is perfectly normal and usually only lasts a few days.The cleaning advice that your dentist gave you should be followed carefully.

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