Crowns

A crown or cap as it is sometimes referred to, fits over the remaining part of a prepared tooth, providing the tooth with its original natural shape and making it strong again. They can greatly improve the appearance and strength of your natural teeth, giving you confidence to smile and eat without worrying about discoloured or weak teeth.

Dental crowns are ideal for teeth that have been broken, or have been weakened by decay or a very large filling. They are made of porcelain or metal or a combination of both materials.

Here are a few more reasons why a dental crown may be required:

  • You may have discoloured fillings and would like to improve the appearance of the tooth.
  • The filling in your tooth is too big and will not stay in place.
  • The tooth is severely weakened due to extensive tooth loss from decay and needs the support of a crown.
  • You may have had a root filling which will need a crown to protect it.
  • It may help hold a bridge or denture firmly in place.

There are many different types of crown that can be provided

The main sorts of crown that we provide are:

Metal free crowns

  • Zirconia only crowns: Zirconia is a very hard ceramic, so it can be tooth coloured but it is rather dense looking compared to a natural tooth. The pretty porcelain applied over the top of Zirconia can always fracture as porcelain is a brittle material; hence sometimes we use Zirconia only crowns on back teeth. These crowns are not likely to fracture and do not have grey margins, they are tooth coloured and hardwearing. We find them a very good crown for back teeth where we want them to be tooth coloured and hard wearing.
  • Zirconia and porcelain: Here a strong Zirconia base, which is digitally milled from a block is covered in attractive looking porcelain to give a strong attractive crown. This is a crown which does not have the grey margin often associated with traditional crowns which use a metal base instead of a tooth coloured Zirconia base
  • E max crowns: These are generally very good looking crowns and they closely resemble natural teeth. They are made from pressed porcelain. The pressed porcelain is very strong in its own right, but its strength is increased by bonding the crown to the underlying tooth. This is a great choice both in the front and back of your mouth. They are not quite as strong as Zirconia crowns but they look much more natural.
  • Porcelain only crowns: Conventional porcelain can be made to look very much like a tooth, but it is brittle. You can bond the crown to the underlying tooth to give the tooth strength, but if the tooth is badly broken down this is not possible. They are generally only suited to front teeth as they are not strong enough for the teeth in the back of your night.

Crowns containing metal

There are two basic crowns in this section

  • Solid metal crowns. These crowns are functional and can be a very good option but are perhaps less popular these days due to their appearance. These can be made of a non-precious metal which is a cheap way to get a tooth crowned or a precious metal such as gold, which is much more biocompatible and easier for the lab to work with so you should get a better fitting crown.
  • Crowns with a metal substructure with Porcelain bonded on top. Porcelain which can be made to looks very much like teeth is a brittle material and not strong enough for a crown on a back tooth. This crown overcame this problem by bonding the pretty porcelain to a metal substructure to make a strong and durable option that could be used on back teeth. This was the main crown provided for many years due to its strength and relatively good appearance. These days however more and more people are going for the metal free options which have improved dramatically over recent years. The problems with this type of crown are that:
    • Due to thickness of the metal and porcelain together more tooth needs to be removed.
    • The porcelain can fracture of the metal substructure.
    • The metal stops light being transmitted through the crown so they are not as natural looking as porcelain only crowns.

We will always discuss your crown options with you so that you get the crown that is right for you.

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