A dental crown is a tooth-coloured cap used to restore broken, fractured, or deeply decayed teeth that can’t support a filling. They are often placed over a tooth following root canal therapy and attached to a dental implant to restore the look and function of your tooth. But dental crowns can also be used cosmetically to disguise dental flaws, such as discolouration, chips, or microdontia (teeth that are smaller than normal).
Dental crowns are one of the most commonly recommended treatments in Australia; however, many patients express concern over the safety and longevity of the procedure and the materials used. If you need a dental crown placed, understanding more about the dental crown procedure can help alleviate any anxiety you may have.
How is the Dental Crown Procedure Performed?
To accommodate the dental crown, your dentist needs to shape the tooth. After applying a local anaesthetic, your dentist grinds the tooth’s enamel to a conical shape. If you have deep cavities, the dentist removes the decayed tissue before shaping the tooth.
Taking Dental Impressions
For the best fit, your dentist applies an impression tray filled with alginate to your prepared tooth to create a mould to send to the off-site lab.
Dental crowns are fabricated at an Australian lab and are typically ready within ten days.
The dentist also uses a shade guide to determine the colour of your natural teeth so that the crown blends in seamlessly to give you the most realistic-looking smile.
Placing a Temporary Crown
To protect your tooth while waiting for your dental crown, your dentist fits you with a temporary crown made from acrylic resin and attached using a degradable dental adhesive. This prevents food debris from getting caught and minimises excessive tooth sensitivity.
Cementing the Permanent Dental Crown
Once your permanent dental crown is ready, your dentist removes the temporary crown, cleans the tooth, and checks the permanent crown’s fit. The crown is then cemented in place using a strong dental bonding agent.
Types of Dental Crowns
The type of crown you receive may impact the amount of tooth preparation required, slightly altering the dental crown procedure and completion timeline. Some of the most commonly used crowns include:
Ceramic crowns offer the most natural-looking appearance and are typically used for teeth toward the front of the mouth as they are the most visible when you smile. Ceramic crowns are slightly less durable than other types but require minimal tooth preparation due to the thinner crown wall.
PFM dental crowns offer the perfect balance between strength and aesthetics. The exterior porcelain layer has a realistic pearlescent lustre, while the metal underneath (usually gold, palladium, or platinum) provides structural stability.
Gold alloy crowns are reserved for the molars and premolars, as the dense metal can withstand the intense bite force these back teeth sustain, and since the teeth are furthest back on the dental arch, they are less noticeable.
Restore Your Smile at Total Care Dental Studio
Understanding the types of dental crowns available and the dental crown procedure can help you make a more informed decision for your oral health. Contact Total Care Dental Studio on (07) 3186 8517 to book your consultation and discuss your restoration options with our skilled dentists.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.