Confidental Greenwich dentist, Dr Lynn Hutchinson, discusses the procedures that use a dental crown
Along with fillings and extractions, the use of a dental crown is probably one of the most common restorative procedures that is used at dental practices across the UK.
It is a strong and versatile solution to a number of problems and, with good care, should last the patient for many years.
In today’s blog, we thought that it would be useful to look at what a crown is, and some of the more common procedures that make good use of this restorative item.
What is a dental crown?
A crown, or as it used to be more commonly known, a ‘cap’ is usually made from porcelain, porcelain bonded to metal, or increasingly, newer materials such as Zirconia. They are used to ‘cap’ a tooth that has been damaged or treated, and is shaped and ‘styled’ so that it matches the patient’s current teeth.
What procedures is it used for?
The most common reasons for using a dental crown are as follows:
Broken tooth – Whilst a filling is the most likely first option; where a breakage, or cavity is too large for a filling to offer sufficient strength, a crown may be produced and fitted instead. This not only protects the tooth, but gives sufficient strength for the tooth to be used for normal daily routine.
Root canal treatment – When a root canal treatment is carried out, it is often necessary for the dentist at the Confidental Clinic to remove the top section of the tooth, so that the root canals can be accessed. Although, once the canals have been cleaned, a special filling is used to offer some strength and protect the canals, this is usually too weak on its own to be strong enough for the patient to use the tooth to eat with. To offer the additional strength needed, a dental crown is usually attached to complete the restoration.
Dental implants – Crowns are also used as the final part of a dental implant procedure. Once the implant itself has been placed and integrated with the bone, an abutment is attached to allow a crown to be added to the new artificial tooth. This makes for a natural looking and very strong tooth replacement.
Cosmetic purposes – Although usually used for practical reasons, crowns can also be used in a cosmetic dental procedure to restore the appearance of teeth that have been worn down and appear shorter than usual. This could, for example, happen with someone who has a tooth grinding (bruxism) habit, once they have managed to overcome it.