Crowns (jacket and post).
What are they?
A crown completely covers a weakened tooth above the gum line an protects it.
Crowns are made of metal, or porcelain, or porcelain with metal inside for strength.
What does the dentist do?
- A local anaesthetic to numb the area may be given;
- The tooth is shaped so that, with the crown, it will be the same size as a normal tooth;
- Preparation time will depend on how damaged the tooth is and whether it needs to be built up with a filling first;
- The tooth might have to be root-filled first - this is sometimes called 'removing the nerve'. The crown is sometimes held in place by a peg in the root canal if a lot of tooth is missing;
- Soft, mouldable material is used to make a precise 'impression' of the tooth to be crowned and the nearby teeth. A dental technician uses the impression to make the crown the exact height and size needed;
- A thin cord may be used to hold the gum away from the neck of the tooth so that the impression is accurate around the edges;
- A temporary crown made of plastic or metal is put over the tooth until the crown is made. You can chew on a temporary crown but it won't be as strong as the finished one;
- When the crown is fitted, small adjustments are made to ensure you can bite comfortably. The crown is tried on first, and then 'glued' into place.
What are the benefits?
- A crown is strong and can look and feel almost exactly like a natural tooth. The colour and shape can be matched to your own teeth.
- Depending on the strength of the tooth underneath a crown can last for many years if your oral hygiene is good and the crown is not accidentally damaged;
- Crowns can also improve the appearance of misshapen or discoloured teeth.