What are Dental Crowns?
A crown is a type of dental restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant. Crowns are often needed when a large cavity, filling or crack threatens the ongoing health of a tooth. They are typically bonded to the tooth using a dental cement. Crowns can be made from many materials, and are usually fabricated using indirect methods. Crowns are often used to improve the strength or appearance of teeth.
Why is a dental crown needed?
A crown is used to entirely cover or "cap" a damaged tooth. Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve its appearance, shape or alignment. A crown can also be placed on top of an implant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure for function. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be matched to the colour of your natural teeth. Other materials include gold and metal alloys, acrylic and ceramic.
What are dental crowns used for?
- Repairing a broken tooth or a tooth that has been worn down
- Repairing and covering a tooth that has been treated by a root canal
- Replacing a missing tooth as part of a bridge
- Replacing a missing tooth on a dental implant
- Covering discoloured or poorly shaped teeth to improve aesthetic appearance
- Repairing or protecting a tooth that has large amount of decay, chips or cracks
- Closing minor gaps or fixing minor tooth alignment issues
What is the process for getting a dental crown?
Crowns usually require two separate appointments. During the first appointment, Dr Malakonakis will examine the tooth, take x-rays to check for cavities and the structure of the tooth root. Following that, the tooth is prepared for the crown by filing down 1mm around the circumference of the entire tooth. Local anaesthetics are given during this portion of treatment. Then Dr Malakonakis will take impressions of the tooth which are then sent off to the dental laboratory, where the crowns are fabricated.
In most cases the crown can be fabricated in our laboratory within 2 weeks of your preparation visit. During this 2 week period a provisional plastic crown will be made and fitted. Gymea Dental uses a well known and well established laboratory in the heart of Sydney where both the technician and Dr Malakonakis work together in close collaboration to ensure they achieve your goals and an excellent finished product.
After the lab has fabricated the crown, you would than return to our surgery for the second appointment. Dr Malakonakis will check the shade and fit of the crown, to make sure that it lines up correctly with your bite, and then if all is in order, permanently cement the crown into place. Our new CEREC machine can now be used to fabricate & complete these stronger restorations in one day.
How long do crowns last?
Typically, crowns last for about 10-15 years, though many patients will have their crowns for a lifetime. Zirconia crowns or full gold/metal crowns are the longest lasting. Crowns need to be replaced when they have chipped or broken, though most crown failures are caused by other issues such as decay of the tooth under the crown or by gum disease. Regular oral hygiene is important in maintaining crowns along with a good diet and regular professional visits.