What is a crown?
A crown (or a cap) is a hand-made cover designed to restore a tooth damaged by decay or fracture to its natural look and strength. It has the shape and colour of a natural tooth.
Conventional crowns are made of porcelain bonded to precious metal or gold. Teeth are cut down to “stumps” so that there is enough mechanical retention to support a crown.
As each person is an individual, so is each tooth in your mouth. Each crown is hand-crafted by a skilled dental technician to match the specific shape and colour of your natural teeth. However please note the NHS only allows metal crowns on molar teeth.
When is it needed?
We recommend a crown when too much of a tooth is lost due to decay or fracture and a filling is not considered strong enough. A crown restores the original shape and function of the tooth. It is strong and is designed to fit in naturally with all your other teeth.
What is involved?
Your dentist will start by numbing your tooth. The tooth will then be shaped and any existing decay or old fillings will be removed. An accurate impression is then taken using a rubber-like material. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory who will then hand-make the crown from scratch. If required, a temporary crown is placed over the tooth to protect it until the permanent crown is ready to be fitted.
Two or three weeks later, the new crown arrives back from the laboratory and is then glued in place. Your dentist may make minor adjustments to make sure you can bite comfortably.
How does tooth whitening affect crowns?
The colour of crowns are permanent, they don’t yellow (or whiten) like the rest of your teeth. To make a crown as natural-looking as possible, its colour is matched to the colour of the rest of your teeth at the time the crown is fitted.
If you are considering whitening your teeth, then we recommend doing it BEFORE you fit a crown, so that all your teeth (including the new crown) are the colour you want them to be.