When teeth become damaged through breakage or decay, a specially moulded piece of tooth coloured material known as a crown (sometimes called a cap) can be used to permanently seal the tooth and restore its shape. A crown can also be used to help hold a bridge or denture firmly in place. Crowns are typically made from porcelain bonded to metal, producing a strong and natural looking finish.
Teeth can break for several reasons, most typically impact trauma or a fracture that leads to a breakage. Teeth can also become decayed to the point where a break occurs. In some cases, a large cavity forms and weakens the structure of a tooth. The tooth will need to be heavily filled once the degraded portion is removed and a crown is ideal for protecting and strengthening it.
Treatment with crowns begins with our principal dentist Oberah shaping your remaining tooth to bond i to the crown. The strongest bond is formed when the crown and the tooth it is bonded to are of equal thickness. In some instances where the tooth is removed down to the gum line, a stainless steel post is cemented into the root canal to support the crown. This is known as a post crown. These procedures are carried out painlessly under local anaesthetic.
The crown itself has to be shaped by a dental technician. Once Oberah has shaped your natural tooth to accommodate the crown, she will take a series of impressions to be sent to the lab. She will also instruct them what shade to make the crown to match the rest of your teeth. You will be provided with a temporary crown to wear until your permanent crown is ready, which will protect the prepared surface of the tooth.
Once your crown is prepared it can be bonded onto the prepared tooth. Once in place, you will need to look after it with good oral hygiene and regular visits to the hygienist to prevent decay where the crown meets the gumline. Crowns can last many years when cared for properly, and Oberah and your hygienist will give you guidance on this.