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Crowns are an ideal way to rebuild teeth which have been broken, or have been weakened by decay or a very large filling. The crown fits right over the remaining part of the tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape and contour of a natural tooth. Crowns are sometimes also known as ‘caps’. An ‘Anterior Crown’ is a crown fitted to the front eight teeth.
There are a number of reasons. For instance:
Crowns are made of a variety of materials and new materials are being introduced all the time. Here are some of the options available at present:
The dentist will prepare the tooth to the ideal shape for the crown. This will mean removing some of the outer surface of tooth and filing, and leaving a strong inner ‘core’. The amount of the tooth removed will be the same as the thickness of the crown to be fitted. Once the tooth is shaped, the dentist will take an impression of the prepared tooth, one of the opposite jaw and possibly another to mark the way you bite together. The impressions will be given to the technician, along with any other information they need to make the crown.
The impressions and information about the shade of your teeth will be given to a dental technician who will be skilled in making crowns. They will make models of your mouth and make the crown on these to be sure that the crown fits perfectly.
No. The crown will be made to match your other teeth exactly. The shade of the neighboring teeth will be recorded, to make sure that the colour looks natural and matches the surrounding teeth. A temporary crown, usually made in plastic, will be fitted at the end of the first appointment to last until the permanent one is ready. These temporary crowns may be more noticeable, but they are only in place for approximately two weeks.
You will need to have at least two visits: the first for the preparation, impression, shade taking and fitting the temporary crown, and the second to fit the permanent crown.
No. A local anesthetic is used and the preparation should feel no different from a filling. If the tooth does not have a nerve, and a post crown is being prepared, then local anesthetic may not be needed.
The life of a crown will depend on how well it is looked after. The crown itself cannot decay, but decay can start where the edge of the crown joins the tooth. It is very important to keep this area as clean as your other teeth, or decay could endanger the crown.
Once the fit and appearance of the crown has been checked – and approved by you – it will be cemented in place with special dental cement. The cement also forms a seal to help hold it firmly in place.
Because the shape of the crown will be slightly different from the shape of your tooth before it was crowned, you may be aware of it to begin with. Within a few days it should feel fine, and you will not notice it. The crown may need some adjustment if it feels higher than the surrounding teeth.
A veneer may be an alternative to having an anterior crown. We will advise you of any suitable alternatives.