If unsightly teeth are spoiling your smile, crowns can offer a neat, natural-coloured cover up. They fit completely over a whole tooth, concealing defects caused by chips, decay, discolouration or large fillings. A crown has the effect of replacing the lost part of the tooth, bracing the remaining parts against damage and restoring function and aesthetics.
Made from a variety of materials, including metal, porcelain, resin or ceramic, crowns can also be used to support a dental bridge or affixed to a dental implant. The type of crown chosen will depend on your individual case, and be advised by your dentist.
A lot of the steps involved with having a crown are similar to that of a filling. It may seem scary, but please be reassured that it is a routine procedure and is carried out at our practice many times a week. Crowns are fitted over two visits.
After a crown preparation, your lips and gums may remain numb for a few hours until the anaesthetic wears off. Later you may have some discomfort and pain, which you can treat with pain medicines, such as ibuprofen, paracetamol, or a stronger prescription painkiller (on advice from your medical professional). This usually only lasts for a day or two. If you find you have some discomfort when biting down, please contact us to return to the surgery for some adjustments.
Not having treatment would only lead to further breakdown of the tooth, frequently beyond repair. This would lead to complications with your bite later on. Success rates for root canal treatment drop if not crowned after, as these teeth fracture easier as well as allow bacteria to seep into the root canal system alongside the filling.
With any crown being placed there are associated risks, albeit small and unlikely, it is something everyone should know. They include: prolonged numbness and altered sensation, fracture of the tooth while preparing it, recurrent infections despite treatment, jaw ache (due to keeping mouth open for a long time), and extraction if crown fails as a result of improper home hygiene and failing to attend for checkups after procedure.
An alternative to a crown would be to attempt to fill the tooth. This is definitely not an ideal solution and only done at the practice as an interim measure before placing a crown. If a filling is placed it must be adhesive in nature (either white composite or a bonded metal filling). Being “stuck” to the remaining part of the tooth without crown coverage will only serve to replace the missing area and will not repair the remaining parts of the tooth.