What is a dental crown?
A crown is a cover which sits on a tooth like a hat. A crown is needed when a tooth is broken down and cannot be repaired with a traditional filling.
A good fitting crown prolongs the lifespan of the tooth and protects to keep the surrounding gum and adjacent teeth healthy. Crowns do not damage teeth if minimal intervention techniques are used.
There are various types of crowns that are available. Your dentist is the expert who can advise you on what type of crown will give the optimal result.
Metal crowns for strength
Porcelain crowns for beauty and strength.
You can be rest assured that your dentist has attended post-graduate courses to learn specifically about the best methods used to crown teeth.
Good fitting crowns:
seals the tooth from bacteria.
Why can’t a filling be done?
There are specific reasons why a dentist recommends your tooth to be crowned:
There is already a large existing filling on the tooth.
There is decay underneath your existing filling. After this filling is removed the hole will be much bigger and difficult to replace it with the same type of filling.
To protect your tooth from cracks and heavy chewing forces.
To protect your bite.
To protect your opposing teeth from over erupting.
To provide a more aesthetic outcome.
To build up the contact points between your teeth to minimise food packing.
To minimise the risk of decay and periodontal disease by ensuring a close fit.
To provide a long term solution.
Do crowns hurt?
No. A crown should feel normal, just like a tooth.
What does the procedure involve?
Making a bespoke crown for a tooth takes two visits. The procedure is done carefully using magnification. It takes approximately 60-90 minutes for the initial prepraration appointment. This includes the mould taking and putting a temporary filling on the tooth until the next appointment. The second appointment involves fitting on the crown with precision and strong glue.
Would I need an anaesthetic (injection)?
It depends on the tooth. Your dentist is best placed to make that decision. Your Herts Dentist has developed his own technique to give virtually pain-free anaesthetic. Teeth which have been root-filled don’t generally require an anaesthetic for the procedure.
I don’t like my old metal crowns. What can I do?
Crowns can be changed to a porcelain/ceramic material. Your dentist is the expert and can advise if this procedure is possible. An x-ray may be taken to ensure the foundation surrounding the tooth is solid before doing the procedure.
How long does a crown last?
An average lifespan of a crown is 10-15 years, but the techniques and materials used nowadays far prolong this period. The longevity of the crown is much dependent on the skill of the dentist and the patient looking after it.
How much does a crown cost?
£550-650. This includes the preparatory work, mould taking, placing a temporary filling and the actual fitting of the crown. An indicative estimate will be given to our patients prior to commencing the treatment. Your dentist will also provide a new core filling during the same procedure to ensure the crown sits on a clean and solid foundation. There is no extra charge for the core filling (saving you £120-160).
Are there alternatives to crowns?
If a tooth needs a crown, your dentist is the expert at making that particular clinical decision. We will explore the other options first to see if an alternative treatment is possible.
You may have heard of veneers, inlays and onlays. These serve the same purpose as crowns but used in different situations. We can show you a huge portfolio of cases we have treated over the years.
I don’t want a crown. What are my options?
The tooth may be “patched-up” temporarily but this is not the same as providing the recommended treatment. A crown will serve to protect your tooth and surrounding gum. The consequence of not having the treatment is that you will get constant plaque and food packing which can lead to decay and tooth removal. This will prove costly in the long term if you were to replace your missing teeth with dental implants.
I don’t like the look of my front teeth. Would crowns solve the problem?
Each case has to be judged on its merits. There are many treatments to enhance your smile and it doesn’t necessarily mean that crowning your teeth is the answer. You dentist is the expert and their experience should tell you the optimal treatment for your smile. Your dentist will explore your options such as teeth whitening, porcelain veneers and orthodontist treatment (braces). Your cosmetic dental options can be explored once you have had a consultation with us.