What are dental crowns?
Dental crowns are restorations that protect damaged, cracked or broken down teeth.
A crown strengthens your existing, damaged tooth so as to preserve its functionality. Dental crowns are also commonly known as caps (because a crown sits over your existing tooth, covering the entire outer surface).
Are dental crowns always the best option?
Crowns should not be the first choice just to improve the aesthetics of your teeth, because a dentist needs to grind a significant portion of the original tooth away. Less invasive alternatives include veneers or dental bonding. Crowns are required when the strength of the tooth supporting the restoration is compromised, since veneers and dental bonding restorations are only as strong as the supporting tooth.
What materials can crowns be made from?
In modem-day dentistry, there is a wide variety of dental materials to choose from. Some crowns are made from full gold, where as others are made from an alloy of metals fused to a porcelain outer shell.
All-porcelain or -ceramic crowns are the best choice for a natural cosmetic look. There are many different brands and types of porcelain crowns, and the variation between the costs of dental crowns at different dental practices may well reflect the quality of the materials used.
Will I recieve a temporary crown?
It usually takes between two to three weeks for a laboratory technician to custom-fabricate your new crown. During this time, your dentist will fit you with a temporary crown to cover and protect your prepared tooth.
How long do crowns last?
This will depend largely on how well you look after your teeth. Dental crowns require the same level of care and attention as your natural teeth.
Provided you have a good oral hygiene program and attend regular checkups at your dentist, a high-quality crown can last between 10 - 15 years.