Dental crowns are one of the most common dental procedures but many people are not aware what a crown is exactly. To be very simple, a crown is a new tooth surface that sits over your existing tooth to protect it.
When is a dental crown needed?
This is a really good question. A dental crown is needed when the underlying tooth is heavily broken down and a routine filling will not be sufficient. There is a choice to be made between having a filling and a crown and we will provide the best advice as to which will be suitable. Now, in many cases, there is the choice of a transition from a large filling to a crown later on. This decision may be made due to financial reasons or to assess if the pulp (nerve) is still alive over a period of time for example. If the tooth is already root filled, then a crown is certainly required especially for back teeth.
When a tooth has a root filling, it becomes quite brittle and is liable to crack. We see this regularly and unfortunately this may mean that the tooth needs to be removed. If a crown had been placed, this would have been avoided.
Other reasons why a crown would be needed would be for occlusal (bite) purposes. If your bite needs to be altered then often your tooth/ teeth will need a new surface to ensure the contacts of your bite are correct.
Dental crown procedure
The procedure for a dental crown involves reducing the size of the tooth down by re shaping it. In the past, this would have involved cutting the tooth down quite a lot so that there was plenty of space for the crown. However, modern day dentistry and advanced techniques mean that we can provide a beautiful crown with minimal reduction. In some case, we only need to reduce the tooth by 0.7-1.0mm.
In terms of appointments, we usually need 2 visits. On the first visit, the tooth will be shaped carefully and digital scans taken using our amazing Trios 3 Shape intra oral scanner. No more impressions! The scanner allows us to view the preparation, check that there is enough space, check there are no undercuts and measure the shade (colour) of the adjacent teeth. It is an amazing piece of technology.
After the preparation, we will place a temporary crown that is made from acrylic or an acrylic composite hybrid material. This is usually left for 2 weeks which gives the laboratory enough time to fabricate the crown.
During the temporary crown phase, we will advise you to keep the area clean and often we will recommend using chlorhexidine mouthwash (Corsodyl) to keep the gum healthy. This would only be for a short time as Corsodyl can stain teeth a dark brown colour!
At the next visit, we will remove the temporary crown, clean the underlying tooth and check the fitting. Once we are 100% happy (both of us) the crown can be cemented into place. Sometimes, we will advise using a soft cement so that the crown can be removed if required. Reasons for this may be to allow the gum around the tooth to heal or to check the bite if this is being altered.
For the first few days, the new crown will feel a little strange as the surface is different to your previous tooth and will take some time to get used to. It is important to eat a soft diet for 48 hours and not to drink or eat anything too hot or cold that could affect the cement setting. After this time, think of the crown as your natural tooth and keep it clean!
Same day crown
Sometimes, you may wish to have the crown placed on the same day or 24 hours later. If so, we can help! With advanced notice, we will arrange for the preparation to be in the morning and the fitting appointment a few hours later or the next day. There is a small laboratory surcharge for this as they will prioritise your work over everything else that day.
Dental crown cost
At Progressive Dentistry, our crown fees start at £765 for a standard crown. £995 for a premium crown (high aesthetics) and £1350 for a fully customised crown (ultimate aesthetics for a front tooth).
For a free video consultation on dental crowns please book via our online booking system.