What are Dental Crowns and why would I need one?
Dental crowns or ‘caps’ are popular treatment options for patients with broken or worn-down teeth. They are designed to encase damaged teeth to improve its shape and size, strength and appearance, as well as protect them from decay. The actual crown is a tooth – shaped “cap” that is placed over an existing tooth to cover the tooth. When cemented into place, it fully encases the entire visible portion of the existing tooth down to the gum level.
A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:
- To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
- To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
- To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of teeth left
- To hold a dental bridge in place
- To cover misshaped or severely discoloured teeth
- To cover a dental implant
- To make a cosmetic modification
What types of Crowns are available at ARC?
ARC Dental only utilize and produce FULL-Porcelain crowns using a zirconium core as it has a very high resistance to cracking. Then by using the finest porcelain materials from Germany and Switzerland, the original tooth shape is hand-built around the ceramic core to produce a metal-free, full-porcelain crown. All our crowns are made in our own in-house state-of-the-art Laboratory.lab At ARC Dental we offer two types of crowns: metal-free Zirconium crowns and E.Max® crowns.
Full-porcelain dental crowns are more suitable for people with metal allergies and are a good choice for front teeth as they provide better natural colour match than any other crown type.
What is a Zirconia Crown?
Zirconia (zirconium dioxide) crowns are made of solid monolithic zirconia ceramic material, the same material used to create artificial diamonds, making them extremely strong. It can be layered with porcelain, further improving its aesthetic appearance. Because zirconia crowns are milled from one single zirconia block, they are strong enough to use on your back teeth.
What is an E.Max® Crown?
Considered a breakthrough in dental technology, E.Max® is today’s leading all-ceramic tooth restoration. Each e.max® crown is made from one block of lithium disilicate ceramic—a top-grade material that offers strength, durability and outstanding aesthetics. Because of its translucent qualities and natural shape, an E.Max® crown is virtually undetectable amongst your own teeth.
Metal-free Zirconium and E.Max® are a cut above metal ceramic and resin crowns. They are stronger and made from thinner, more translucent materials to provide a better fit and match with your existing teeth. Because the materials used in Zirconia and E.Max® crowns are 100% biocompatible, they are also ideal for allergy sufferers and are gentle on the gums. Metal-free Zirconium and E.Max® crowns will never discolour.
Dental Treatment Guide
The procedure for the fitting of these crowns is similar to that of any other crown:
- The tooth to be treated is cleaned, reshaped, and thus prepared for treatment.
- The tooth is also a little tapered so that the crown can snugly fit on top of the concerned tooth.
- An impression of the tooth is taken.
- The mold is then sent to our laboratory for fabrication of the new crown.
- In the meantime, the patient gets a temporary crown fitted on the tooth.
Then the patient’s tooth is fitted with the new crown. After the desired fitting is obtained, the crown is firmly fixed with the help of dental cement. Care must be taken to avoid grinding, biting into hard foodstuffs and clenching.
How long will my Dental Crowns last?
Although no dental restoration lasts forever, the average lifespan of a crown is around 10 – 20 years, depending on how well they are made and cared for. To extend the longevity of your crown, avoid chewing on overly sticky things, such as fudge and toffee. You should also refrain from habits such as biting your nails, opening packages with your teeth or crunching on ice cubes. These can put excessive pressure on a crown and shorten its lifespan. Excessive teeth grinding and jaw clenching (Bruxism) will also shorten the lifespan of crowns.
What about aftercare?
Just as you would do with your natural teeth, you should make sure you brush your crown twice per day, floss regularly, regulate your intake of sugary foods and drinks and have a check-up every 3 to 6 months. Mild to moderate pain after dental work is common and can be managed with ibuprofen or paracetamol, but NOT aspirin. You may also experience some sensitivity to temperature and pressure following the fitting of your crown, but this generally subsides within a few days to a couple of weeks. However, if after a day or two following treatment you feel as though any of the teeth we have worked on are touching first when you bite down, please give us a call immediately as this imbalance should be adjusted as soon as possible.
For more in-depth information, please visit our aftercare page or contact us.