A Dental Crown or a Tooth Crown is a tooth shaped covering or ‘cap’ that’s placed on top of a tooth in order to restore the strength, size and shape of the tooth. A dental crown is also often used to improve the aesthetic look and appearance of a tooth. The tooth crown encloses the whole visible portion of the underlying tooth – the portion of the natural tooth that lies above the gum line.
Dental crowns are needed for a variety of different reasons. E.g. a dental crown may be used in order to protect a tooth weakened from tooth decay from breaking or cracking. A dental crown can also be used to hold together sections or parts of a tooth that has cracked. Severely worn down or discoloured tooth can also be restored by use of a dental crown. Dental crowns are also popularly used for cosmetic purposes to help improve the look and appearance of a tooth. For example, a tooth crown or dental crown may be used to make cosmetic modifications to a tooth such as changing the size and shape of a tooth or to cover a mis-shaped tooth. A dental crown or tooth crown can be used to also cover a dental implant or hold a bridge (called a dental bridge) in place.
A number of different types of dental crowns are available on the market. They mostly differ based on the type of material used to manufacture them. Dental crowns can be made from stainless steel, porcelain, ceramic, precious metal (gold or other types of alloy), porcelain bonded to metal etc. We have listed the most common types of dental crowns below.
Porcelain Bonded Dental Crowns
Porcelain bonded to metal crowns are popular with a large number of dentists and patients. This is because a porcelain bonded dental crown can be shade and colour matched to the surrounding teeth, unlike metal dental crowns which look metallic in appearance. However, it’s worth noting that with porcelain bonded dental crowns, more wear can occur to the opposing teeth in comparison to metal dental crowns. The porcelain part of the dental crown can break away or chip away on occasion if care is not taken while eating hard food items. Also, sometimes the underlying metal used in the dental crown can show through at the gum line, especially so if the gums begin to recede. Porcelain bonded dental crowns are often a good solution for anterior or posterior teeth where the underlying metal in the dental crown is required to provide strength to the tooth.
Porcelain or Ceramic Dental Crowns
All Porcelain or All Ceramic dental crowns can provide better natural colours in order to exactly match the surrounding teeth in comparison to other type of dental crowns. All porcelain or all ceramic dental crowns can also be more suitable for patients who have allergies to metal. These dental crowns can be used for both anterior and posterior teeth.
Precious Metal Dental Crowns
Precious Metal Dental Crowns make use of metals or alloys with a high concentration of gold or other precious metals (such as platinum or nickel-chromium or cobalt- chromium typically). Precious metal dental crowns are able to better withstand ocular forces (biting and chewing) and usually last the longest in comparison to other types of dental crowns. Also, precious metal dental crowns rarely chip or break given the strength of the metal used. However, their main drawback is their colour – precious metal dental crowns are metallic in colour, which is not very aesthetically pleasing. As a result these types of dental crowns are usually used for out of sight molar crowns.
Prices are per unit and they depend on material selected
Prices are per unit and they depend on material selected
Our Crowns & Bridges are very ethically priced. That typically results in our prices being very competitive compared to our peers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a temporary tooth crown or dental crown?
Permanent dental crowns are mostly made in a laboratory. On the other hand, a temporary dental crown can be made right at the dentist surgery. They are usually made of acrylic material or sometimes stainless steel. They are used by a dentist as a type of temporary restorative solution till a permanent dental crown is available from a dental laboratory.
How is a tooth crown or dental crown made?
Making a dental crown usually requires two visits with the dentist. During the first visit, the dentist will prepare your tooth and take impressions for making the dental crown. In the second visit, once the crown has been returned from the laboratory, the dentist will fit the crown on the relevant tooth.
As part of the first visit, the dentist will typically take an x-ray to check the tooth roots and surrounding bone. If there is extensive decay or if the dentist determines there is risk of infection to the tooth, a root canal may need to be performed prior to making a dental crown. When the dentist is ready to make a crown, he or she will numb the tooth with an anaesthetic. The tooth receiving the crown is filed down or ground down alongside its chewing surface and sides in order to make space for the crown. If a large portion of the tooth is missing (due to damage or tooth decay perhaps), the dentist will ‘build-up’ the tooth using composite material to provide support to the crown. Once the tooth has been ground-down and reshaped, a putty material is used to take an impression of the tooth. Digital impressions can also be taken in lieu of putty. The impressions are used by the laboratory to create a dental crown that fits to the exact dimensions of the tooth.
The putty or digital impressions are sent to a laboratory who will then construct the dental crown to match the exact dimensions required to fit onto the tooth. The laboratory can usually take 2-3 weeks to return the dental crown to the dentist. If the dentist has requested a porcelain dental crown, they will select a colour that exactly matches the shade of the adjacent teeth. While the permanent crown is being manufactured, typically a temporary crown will be placed on the tooth to cover and protect the prepared tooth.
At the second appointment, the dentist will remove the temporary dental crown and place the permanent crown to check the fit and colour, to ensure the crown sits well and exactly matches the colour of the surrounding teeth. If all looks okay, the permanent crown will then be cemented onto the tooth.
How long does a tooth crown or dental crown typically last?
A dental crown usually lasts between 5 and 15 years. How long a dental crown lasts depends on the material used to make it, the amount of wear the crown experiences, the degree of ocular forces in the mouth (e.g. degree of grinding or teeth clenching by the patient, chewing hard food, using teeth to open packages) and oral hygiene habits of the patient. The material used to make the dental crown has a significant bearing on its lifespan; a metal crown typically lasts longer than other dental crowns.
Whites Dental provides Tooth Crowns and Dental Crowns to patients near us in Central London. We are based in London Waterloo SE1, adjacent to Southwark Tube station. We are an under 10 minutes’ walk from London Bridge, Southbank, Borough & Elephant and Castle stations.