Mount Lawley Dentist Explains What Are Dental Crowns?

A dental crown sometimes also referred to as a “custom-made dental cap” is a type of prosthesis that is placed over a tooth, either for protection or cosmetic enhancement. Crowns are made to cover a tooth where conservative fillings are insufficient to restore function and shape. Crowns are designed to protect and support teeth that are cracked, damaged or heavily filled. With dental crowns, you never have to worry about your teeth losing their structural integrity or being weakened.

About Ceramic and Porcelain Crowns

Crowns are used mainly to strengthen weakened, fractured or damaged teeth and also to improve their appearance, especially if the teeth are worn, damaged or discoloured, by making these teeth look brand new. They are designed cover the tooth above the gum entirely. In the case of implants, crowns are attached to the implant to replace missing teeth.  Crowns and bridges can be made of a wide variety of materials; entirely tooth-coloured material, precious metal or a combination of both.

In situations where aesthetics are of importance i.e. front teeth, we can use metal free, all ceramic or porcelain crowns which are colour matched to the natural colour of your existing or whitened teeth. The Porcelain Crowns we most often use at the front of the mouth are ceramic crowns made out of the IPS e.Max porcelain material. This is extremely strong, highly aesthetic and natural looking whilst at the same time also friendly to the soft tissues. This minimizes the ‘dark neck’ sometimes seen on traditional types of crowns.

When to Consider a Dental Crown

Dental Crowns are used for many reasons including:

  • Restoring a tooth’s shape, size and strength
  • Improving it’s overall appearance in colour as well as shape
  • Strenghtening of chipped, fractured, cracked or worn-down teeth
  • Protecting weak heavily filled teeth or root canal treated teeth
  • In dental bridges to support the pontics or false teeth
  • Covering dental implants to replace missing teeth

Frequently Asked Questions: Dental Crowns

Q: Are there any stronger materials for making crowns?

A: Sometimes gold and various metal alloys can be used that are stronger than full porcelain crowns and can be expected to withstand even the heaviest chewing forces. They may be recommended for back teeth especially in cases of heavy wear or bruxism. They will not chip, and all-metal crowns generally have the greatest potential for lasting the longest.

Q: How are crowns made?

A: After examining your teeth, our dentist will determine which type of material is best to use. The tooth needs to be prepared for crowning by removing enough tooth structure to make room for the porcelain or the material we choose to make the crown out of. Most crowns are made in a dental laboratory and we will send all the necessary specifications to the dental lab to manufacture the dental crown. Once the crown is prepared (this may take up to 2 weeks), the crown is sent back to our clinic for the fitting or insertion of the dental crown.

Q: How long do most crowns last?

A: Most crowns last several decades or even an entire lifetime, depending on the workmanship or choice of material. On average, we expect a crown to last at least 15 years. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy and practicing good oral hygiene will maximize its lifespan.

Q: How do I know if I need a bridge or a crown?

A: Bridges are required if you have missing teeth. Crowns are needed if your existing teeth need strengthening of improvement.

Contact Our Office to Schedule a Free Smile Assessment

If you are ready to take the next step, call 08 6244 0089 and friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Furlan. You can also use our online appointment form below or visit the contact us page of our website.

* Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risk. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.