Dental crowns at Dental Care Ireland

Dental Crowns

Where a tooth is badly broken down, and is incapable of being restored in traditional methods e.g. restoration by filling – dental crowns may be the best option.

Crowns are usually required when your tooth has cracked or decayed and there is not enough support left to hold a filling in place. In this case, your dentist may fit a crown over the top of the existing tooth, retaining the remains of the tooth yet at the same time providing an outer barrier against bacteria.

What is a Dental Crown?

Crowns are available in many materials – gold, porcelain, porcelain fused to metal etc. The shape, size and material is largely dependent on the tooth structure that remains. Other factors which help decide the type of crown indicated include: the opposing tooth, the location of the tooth in the mouth (e.g. anterior tooth (front) or posterior tooth (back). Where a tooth has very little tooth structure in place, your dentist may first suggest to build the tooth back up again – using a core material or filling.

With this base, the remaining tooth structure is shaped by your dentist. This procedure is usually carried out under local anaesthetic – just like a regular filling. When the final shaping of the tooth has occurred, a chairside impression is taken using special impression materials. These impressions are then disinfected and sent to the laboratory technician. The important information on your specific requirements accompany this impression. Your dentist will discuss the shape, size and material with you.

A temporary crown is usually placed over the underlying core tooth structure. This temporary fixture allows the dental space to be maintained and also provides a good temporary crown allowing you the patient to get used to the final dental device.

Once the laboratory returns the crown, your dentist will carefully examine it. There are a number of checks that are undertaken in the surgery to ensure that the size, fit, material and shade are in line with the agreed prescription for your crown.

Occasionally, a dentist will undertake a “try-in” visit. This is to ensure that all of the above clinical criteria are adequate to produce a long lasting, aesthetically pleasing and functional crown.


Maintaining Your Crown

Cleaning and care are essential for the longevity of your custom created dental crown. You will be given a number of post-operative instructions which will help you to look after your crown.

Importantly, your dentist will remind you that shade in particular is a challenge with crowns. As we grow older, our teeth get naturally darker/yellower and sometimes more grey. A crown shade chosen at age 30 will be (in some cases significantly) lighter than a shade chosen at 40. With this in mind, it is important to remember that a crown in place for 10 years can look “brighter” than the surrounding natural teeth. This is particularly evident in anterior (front) teeth.

Having a conversation with your dentist at your regular check-ups will provide a good barometer to monitor the wear and aesthetic demand of your individual needs.

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