Dental Crown Guide: All You Need to Know

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Dental Crown Guide: All You Need to Know

Dental crowns are one of the most common dental procedures in Ireland. If you’re thinking of getting a dental crown fitted but you’ve got some burning questions that you need answered first, the following is a quick guide to everything you need to know before getting a crown:


Common Uses of a Crown

A dental crown is often used to treat the following:

  • Repair a broken or worn-down tooth
  • Repair and cover a tooth after a root canal
  • Replace a missing tooth as part of a dental bridge
  • Replace a missing tooth on a dental implant
  • Cover discoloured or poorly shaped teeth to improve aesthetic appearance
  • Repair or protect a tooth that’s badly decayed, chipped or cracked
  • Close minor gaps
  • Fix very minor alignment problems


Types of Dental Crowns

There are different types of crowns available from stainless steel, gold and various types of alloys to those with porcelain, ceramic and resin bases. Your dentist will usually consider the advantages and disadvantages of each material and take the location of the tooth into account before choosing which crown to go for.

Metal crowns are more durable and can withstand biting, wear and tear and will last much longer than their porcelain or ceramic counterparts. The ones with a higher percentage of a base metal such as those with gold, platinum, cobalt and chromium are stronger and more resistant to chipping. However, since these types of dental crowns don’t match the natural colour of your teeth, you may find them to be off-putting. For this reason, it’s quite common to have metal crowns for the corner molars.

Ceramic and porcelain are best for visible teeth such as the incisors and canines at the front of the mouth. Their shade of white complements the natural colour of teeth making it less noticeable but, generally speaking, these crowns aren’t as strong or as durable as metal.


The Procedure

Getting a crown fitted is usually completed over the course of two visits.

The initial visit involves the following tasks:

  1. Preparing and shaping the tooth
  2. Getting an impression taken 
  3. Putting a temporary crown on the prepared tooth

It could take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour for this first visit.

The impressions are then sent to a dental laboratory who will make the crown. Once made, the patient will be called back for the second visit. The call back may be approximately two weeks after the first visit.

When the patient returns for their second appointment, the dentist will take off the temporary crown and cement the lab-made crown into place. This appointment should only take about 20 minutes.


Advantages of a Dental Crown

The most prominent benefit is the protection and support it offers a tooth. Other benefits include offering protection after a root canal operation, changing the colour and shape of teeth for aesthetic purposes and making teeth stronger and more aesthetically pleasing.

Generally, the crown will last between ten to fifteen years making it a good investment for your overall oral health.