What Is A Dental Crown And What Types Are Available?

A dental crown or cap is a fixed prosthetic object used to repair a tooth that has been damaged, possibly due to decay. Crowns are made by reducing the size of your tooth so that the crown fits perfectly. Next an impression is made. Your dentist may place a temporary crown whilst you permanent one is made.

Why Might I Need A Crown?

  • A large cavity that is too big for a filling
  • Your tooth is severely worn down
  • Your tooth is cracked
  • Following a root canal

Types Of Dental Crown

  • Ceramic – These are used for fixing your front teeth as they blend in with your natural teeth. The crown is made of a porcelain based material. However, they are not as strong as metal crowns. They can last a long time but they need to be looked after.
  • Porcelain fused to metal – This crown provides a stronger bond because it is connected to a metal structure.
  • Gold alloys – This is a mix of gold, copper and other metals. As well as providing a strong bond to the tooth, it doesn’t fracture or wear away the tooth.
  • Base metal alloys – This crown is made of metals that are highly resistant to corrosion and make a very strong crown. This material also requires the smallest amount of tooth to be removed prior to fitting.

What To Consider When Deciding What Type Of Crown You Need

When selecting a material for your crown, your dentist will consider multiple factors when deciding what crown they think is best for you:

  • Your tooth’s location
  • How much of your tooth is visible when you smile
  • Position of your gum tissue
  • The function of the tooth that requires the crown
  • How much natural tooth is remaining
  • Colour of the surrounding teeth.

How To Care For Your Dental Crown

  • Be careful when brushing. If you are not already brushing your teeth twice a day, you should definitely start now. If your crown or the teeth around it are sensitive to hot or cold, try using a sensitive toothpaste.
  • Avoid hard foods. Chewing hard foods could cause your crown to crack.
  • If you grind your teeth at night, your dentist might recommend a night guard to protect your crown.

If you need any more information, visit the healthline website, or contact us on info@newbydental.co.uk

How To Look After A New Dental Crown

If a filling is no longer sufficient to repair a tooth, a crown may be the next option. A crown may also be required after a root canal procedure to seal the tooth. If your dental crown is effectively cared for, it should cause no problems and last many years.

Although a crown can’t suffer from decay, it is still important that you are caring for it properly to ensure it lasts as long as possible.

Daily Cleaning

Whilst the crown itself will not decay, the tooth it is attached to could, which could put your crown at risk of becoming loose. The underlying tooth may change shape if it becomes decayed, meaning that you may need to have a new crown made.

Gum Disease

It is essential to clean your teeth well, not only to protect your crown, but to prevent gum disease. If you are not using floss or interdental brushes, we would recommend that you start now.Although, when flossing be careful that the floss does not become wedged under the crown as it may dislodge it. In addition to this, we would recommend regular appointments with your hygienist who will provide a scale and polish to help keep your mouth free of gum disease.

If you fail to look after your gums effectively, you could develop periodontitis which is a form of gum disease. It results in bone loss in your mouth, so the structures that support your teeth deteriorate, making them loose. It would be very disappointing to have a new crown placed, only to later lose the tooth due to gum disease!

Small Changes

Along with keeping a strong oral hygiene routine, there are a few other changes you could make to improve the lifetime of your crown:

  • Avoid sticky, chewy foods which could pull off the crown.
  • Try to chew using the other side of your mouth.
  • Avoid hard foods, such as raw vegetables, which could dislodge or break the crown.

The best way to look after your crown is to maintain great oral care and treat your crown as you would your natural teeth, the tooth beneath the crown still needs protection from decay and gum disease. Crowns are still susceptible to cracking and wear and tear so be careful when eating hard foods.

If you are interested in having a crown, please call us on 01723 670500 to book an appointment.

How Long Should My Crown Last?

What is A Dental Crown?

A crown is a type of cap that completely covers a real tooth and is fixed in your mouth. They can be fitted where a tooth has broken, decayed, been damaged or to make a tooth look better. The old tooth will need to be drilled down so that the crown can be attached.

A dental crown can last anywhere between fifteen years and a lifetime but it can be determined by a few factors:

Type Of Crown

The material that the crown is made out of can have an impact on the lifespan. Composite crowns, although affordable and tailored to your tooth colour, are limited to their toughness and lifespan. Porcelain crowns can last just about fifteen years, and a gold crown can last a lifetime under the right circumstances.

Health Of Affected Tooth

If the tooth was relatively healthy to begin, with longer roots and healthier surrounding gum and bone levels, both the crown and the tooth are likely to have a longer lifespan.

Injury And Breakage

An injury to the mouth can damage the crown as well as the tooth it sits on. If the damage to the crown is to severe to be repaired it will need to be replaced.

Changes In The Mouth Due To Aging

As we age, the structures in our mouth change. For example, gum recession can affect the fit of a dental crown. If your dental crown begins to not fit properly, your dentist will advise you to get a new one.

Tooth Grinding

Grinding and clenching your teeth, especially at night, can wear down a crown’s surface and threaten its stability.

So, How Long Do They Last?

Depending on the type of crown used, the average lifespan of a crown is around 10-15 years. However, with a good oral hygiene routine and regular visits to the dentist, some crowns can last for decades.

Book an appointment with one of our dentists who will be able to talk you through the options available and which type of crown they think is suitable for you. Call us on 01723 670500 to book an appointment.

How To Prepare For A Dental Crown

There are lots of different reasons why you might require a dental crown, such as a covering a decayed tooth, covering a discoloured or misshapen tooth or protecting a tooth that has undergone a root canal.


The dental crown procedure will usually take place over two appointments.

First appointment: Your dentist will examine the tooth and prepare it for a crown. They will take x-rays of the tooth and surrounding bone and file down the tooth. The amount of filing required will depend on the type of crown used, metal crowns do not need as much tooth removed as porcelain crowns.

Once the tooth is filed, your dentist will take an impression of the tooth that requires the crown. They will also take an impression of the teeth above the crown so that it can fit properly with your bite. The impressions are sent to the lab to create the crown which will take about two to three weeks. Your dentist will give you a temporary crown to protect your tooth.

Second appointment: Now your dentist will fit your new crown. They will check the colour, shape, and the fit of your new crown. They will permanently cement it in place.

Same Day Crowns

Some dentists may offer a same day crown placement using computer-aided-design (CAD). In this case a scanning device takes images of your tooth and the software uses the images to make a 3D image of your mouth. The software then sends the model to a machine that carves the crown out of ceramic in about 15 minutes.

Recovery Process

The recovery time should be relatively short as you will mostly be dealing with irritation and inflammation. Your dentist will provide you with after care tips. Your bite might feel slightly strange to begin with as your tooth may not be exactly the same shape as it was. Your bite should return to normal after a few days.

How To Care For Your Crown

Once your crown has been placed, the best way to look after it is to maintain great oral care and treat your crown as if it were a natural tooth. The tooth beneath the crown still needs to be protected against gum disease and decay. Brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and use either interdental brushes or floss to clean in between your teeth. Crowns can be susceptible to cracking and wear and tear, depending on the material they are made from. Avoid biting hard surfaces.

If you think that a crown may be suitable for you, please call us on 01723 670500 for more information.