Some of you may have heard of dental crowns before, but if you’ve never needed one, you might not know much about them. In this article, Dr Shalhoub – a member of our experienced dental team – answers the top questions you might have about dental crowns.
Question 1 – What are Dental Crowns?
A dental crown is a covering – made from materials like ceramic or gold – that sits over the top of your tooth existing tooth and is designed to protect the tooth or act as a replacement when attached to a bridge or dental implant.
Dental crowns are designed to match perfectly with your natural teeth, so we carefully take into consideration colour, shape and fit. Using our special CAD (Computer Aided Design) software, we are able to make Ceramic Reconstruction crowns (CEREC) in the one appointment, while achieving a very effective and long -lasting solution.
Question 2 -Why do I need to get one?
We suggest dental crowns for a number of reasons, depending on the circumstances of each patient. Most commonly, crowns are used for reconstructive purposes when a tooth is worn down, cracked, broken or decaying. We also suggest crowns as an effective solution to:
- Restore a tooth that has previously undergone root canal therapy to minimise the risk of cracking, and to prevent bacteria from re-entering the tooth
- Restore a tooth that has minimal tooth structure, meaning a regular filling will not work properly
- Restore a dental implant
- Replace a missing tooth, as part of a dental bridge
- Achieve an ideal aesthetic result covering discoloured or misshaped teeth.
Question 3 – What’s the difference between a crown and a filling?
A filling is most commonly made from composite resin (plastic) and is designed to restore a small hole in a tooth after the tooth gets decay, or breaks. In cases where the tooth leftover is significantly weakened or has undergone root canal therapy, a crown is the best option for long-lasting results due to the strength and protection it can offer to the tooth.
Question 4 – How long do they last?
You’ll be happy to know that once you’ve got an expertly crafted crown fitted, you won’t have to worry about it again for many years to come. Generally, dental crowns can last between 10-15 years – more if they are well looked after but less if they aren’t. The most effective way to ensure longevity is to have a thorough at-home oral hygiene routine and regular (6 monthly) dental reviews. If you’ve got trouble with an existing crown, we’ll be happy to help you with replacement options.
Question 5 – Does it hurt?
In most cases, the pain is quite minimal – similar to a dental filling. For some however, a newly crowned tooth can be sensitive afterwards, but often settles after a week or two.
We know that for many people, the dentist isn’t their favourite place to visit, so at North Sydney Dental Practice we do our best to keep you as comfortable and calm as possible. Your fitting for a dental crown will be either one or two appointments (depending on the material your crown is made from), and our highly skilled team will ensure the right care plan for you to get the best results.