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What Are Dental Crowns?

2016 02 15
In the second of a continuing series, we tell you everything you need to know about Dental Crowns. Need one? Want to know how much it costs? Wonder what on earth it is? Let us help.

​What Are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns, also known as ‘caps’, are man made devices which cover over a damaged or chipped tooth. They are fixed into place with cement, and rejuvenate the appearance of the tooth, returning it to its original size and shape. When fitted, they entirely cover the part of the tooth which is visible above the gum.

Why Do People Get Dental Crowns?

A crown may be beneficial for a variety of reasons. These include fitting it to protect a damaged or worn out tooth, to hold a tooth together, or to cosmetically improve the appearance of a discoloured tooth.

What Kinds Of Materials Are Crowns Made From?

Dental crowns are made from a variety of materials, including stainless steel, gold alloy, porcelain fused to metal, all resin, all-ceramic, zirconia, and more. Each has their strengths, weaknesses, and are selected on the basis of cost, need, etc.

What does the Procedure Involve?

Initial consultation will involve checking the area, with X-rays, and, if necessary, performing root canal treatment. Preparing for the crown will involve a local anaesthetic, and either filing down or building up the area of the tooth, and taking a mould, which is sent away and used to build it. A ‘post crown’ may be fitted, in order to stabilise the crown. The second visit to the dentist will involve testing the fit and appearance of the crown, before it is cemented into place.

What Are The Potential Problems Of Dental Crowns?

In very rare circumstances, the fitting of a dental crown can cause problems. It may become uncomfortable, set off an allergy, the crown itself may become chipped, or become loose due to wear and tear of the cement fixing it into place. As in all cases, taking good care of your teeth and crown is vital to longevity, and problem-free use.

What Do Dental Crowns Cost?

If the procedure is provided on the NHS, it is likely to fall into band 3, which is £222.50. Private costs can vary depending upon the provider. In both cases, dental insurance can be an ideal way of spreading the costs.

How Long Do They Last?

Crowns can last anything from five years up to fifteen years, depending on the level of care taken by the recipient of the surgery.