What is a crown?

A crown is a restoration for the visible part of the tooth in your mouth. Crowns are made in a dental laboratory and then cemented onto the tooth that is present. Prior to the crown being made the dentist will need to shape the tooth so the new crown can be placed (cemented) on top of this.

Crowns are the most versatile dental restoration and can be used to improve your teeth in many ways including colour and shape.  Dentists primarily place crowns to protect the remaining tooth structure to prevent future damage.  As crowns completely surround the remaining tooth they structurally brace the tooth making the tooth crown combination stronger than the damaged tooth on its own. 

What are the reasons I may need a crown?

Teeth that are broken down: If a tooth has been compromised so a lot of it is missing then a crown can be placed on the remaining tooth to restore the original shape and appearance. Teeth may be broken down due to being fractured, having dental decay or because they have worn down. If large fillings are present then a tooth becomes more likely to fracture and a crown may be suggested.

After root treatment: This may also be called having a root canal treatment root filling or even a root canal. The middle of your tooth is alive (nerve or pulp) and due to injury (from decay or damage) this may be removed and a special filling placed known as a root treatment. This procedure seals where the nerve was stopping you getting any infection or pain from the tooth. After this a crown is often suggested to strengthen the remaining tooth preventing fracture and tooth loss. If a crown is placed it needs to be well made and fit very well or the root treatment may leak and bacteria could cause an infection below the tooth. This is one of the many reasons you should never have low quality crowns.

Tooth crack: Teeth have to last most of our lifetime (if we are lucky) and due to wear and tear they can crack which often then leads to the tooth breaking and requiring extraction. If your dentist notices a significant tooth crack they will urgently suggest it is crowned so this crack cannot extend resulting in tooth loss. The crown will act like a plaster on a broken arm.

Cosmetics: Teeth that are worn down, have a bad colour, are heavily filled or are in a bad position may be improved with a crown. As the crown covers the old tooth completely they can drastically improve the colour and shape of teeth. This has huge potential in improving your smile. Implants: A dental implant is a replacement for the root of a missing tooth. The root is the part of the tooth you do not see and is below the gum. A crown may be placed on an implant to provide you with a new tooth where you previously had a tooth removed.