Where a tooth is weak due to either large fillings or has a root filling or is cracked or missing a ‘corner’, a crown is an excellent way to restore the tooth to give a durable and long-term restoration.
A tooth crown is a laboratory made tooth shaped ‘thimble’ bonded over such a tooth after cutting and reshaping it. The aesthetics of a crown are excellent making it look like ‘new’!
Where a tooth is missing or if several teeth are missing between two other teeth, then a bridge can be made to replace that tooth thus filling the gap. A bridge is a laboratory made restoration replacing the missing tooth which is bonded to the two teeth either side of the gap.
It may involve crowns on the supporting teeth or it may be simply ‘wings’ bonding to the supporting teeth.
In some simple cases we can even build a bridge directly in your mouth using composite filling material!
Should I get a Crown or a Bridge?
Not only do they look great, they can give you back any loss of confidence but bringing back that all important smile!
Furthermore, they are also a long-term solution that works out to be the most affordable.
What about a Dental Cap?
There is no difference between a cap and a crown - they are the same thing - just different words. For a long time, dental crowns were referred to as caps, sometimes the term 'cap' is still used by older people and by those who do not work in dentistry. Most dentists today use the term 'crown' instead.
If your tooth is severely damaged then we may provide you with a temporary crown to cover the damaged area while the permanent crown is being made.
Temporary crowns are made from an acrylic or composite material so they will not last as long as a ceramic or metal crown.
What To Expect: Procedures for Temporary and Permanent Dental Crowns
If you need a crown for any reason – perhaps to cap a damaged tooth – expect at least two dental visits. As a general guide, we would usually undertake steps similar to these:
- X-ray the problem tooth / area and treat any lingering decay.
- Prepare and reduce your natural tooth to leave you with a tooth in the shape of a mini-mountain, onto which your crown will fit.
- Take an impression and send to a dental lab to design your permanent crown.
- Insert a temporary crown with temporary cement.
- Though not custom-made to match the fit or colour of your natural tooth, the benefits of a temporary crown are numerous and include:
- Protecting your reshaped tooth and the surrounding gum tissue while the crown is being made.
- Serving as a placeholder, so your other teeth don’t move from their positions in your mouth.
- Giving you the ability to eat and speak normally.
- If the tooth shows when you smile, giving you a more natural look than the nub of your filed tooth.
It can take several weeks for the permanent crown to be made. When your crown arrives back from the lab, we will invite you back in to remove the temporary crown so that we can fit the permanent crown in its place.
Caring for a Temporary Crown
Because temporary crowns are fixed with temporary cement you’ll need to treat the prosthetic carefully. Keep in mind these specific tips:
- After receiving your temporary crown, avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes while the cement sets.
- Very gently clean your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush twice daily at your normal times.
- Carefully (and daily) floss with an in-out motion instead of up and down to prevent accidental removal of your crown.
- Stay away from foods that are sticky, chewy, crunchy, tough, hard, or that easily lodge in your teeth. (I’m looking at you, popcorn kernels and chewing gum!)
- Also, avoid sugary food and drinks that might find a way into any vulnerable spots around your crown.
- Be careful when eating or drinking anything hot or cold. Your crowned tooth can be more sensitive.
- If the crown does come off, as a stop-gap, you can buy some denture adhesive to fix the crown back in temporarily. And then schedule an appointment with us asap so that we can re-cement it.