Common Questions About Dental Crowns

In today’s blog, we look at some of the questions that our Epsom patients have asked us about crowns.

After a filling, the dental crown is probably one of the most common procedures used to restore a tooth. They are generally used where there is extensive decay, or where a tooth has been badly broken. They are also used to finish the restoration of a tooth following root canal surgery and also are the final component of a dental implant procedure.

Despite this being a relatively common treatment, there are a number of questions that arise quite frequently in discussions with patients, and we take a look at some of the most common ones below.

Is a crown necessary?

If your dentist recommends that you need a crown, then you should take their advice. If your tooth is decayed or damaged, you may have been expecting to have it filled. Dentists are able, however, to examine the tooth at close quarters and are in the best position to decide whether a filling would be suitable for your needs. In most cases, a crown will offer the best option where decay or damage is more extensive.

Will a crown look natural?

Your dental crown will be produced in the same style and shade as the rest of your natural teeth and few people will be able to notice that it is an artificial tooth. You should bear in mind though, that if you have your teeth whitened, this will not affect the crown and may make it appear a different shade from the rest of your teeth. If you are considering having this treatment, please talk to us for advice on how to minimise this effect as much as possible.

How many appointments will I need?

Traditionally, the fitting of a crown takes two appointments. At the first of these, the tooth will be prepared in a shape that will accept the crown, and impressions will then be taken for an external dental laboratory to produce the crown.

The good news for patients of the Clock Tower Dental Clinic is that they will only need one appointment. This is due to the Cerec technology that we have available which enables us to produce your crown in-house and to fit the crown in just one appointment at our Epsom clinic.

Does the procedure hurt?

You should not feel any actual pain during the preparation of the tooth as you will have been given a local anaesthetic. It is an invasive procedure however, and you may experience certain sensations as the tooth is prepared. This is unlikely to be significant however, and the actual placing of the crown should cause no real discomfort at all.

What are dental crowns made of?

There are a number of types of material that can be used in the production of a dental crown and your dentist will be able to recommend an appropriate one for you. Ultimately, your decision may be affected by a balance of cost and suitability. For example, crowns can be made from gold. These are very strong, but also, as you can imagine, expensive. Traditionally, crowns were made from porcelain, or porcelain bonded to metals. There are now also other excellent options available and crowns can also be made from acrylics and Zirconia.

How long can I expect a crown to last?

This will vary from patient to patient and will also depend on how well you look after the treated tooth. The crown itself can’t decay, but if you fail to keep the natural part of the treated tooth clean, this part certainly can. If this happens, your crown may not fit as securely and can become detached. You should treat your tooth with the crown attached in exactly the same way as the rest of your natural teeth and should make sure to brush and floss it well.

What do I do if it becomes detached?

Providing that you look after your new tooth well (see above), there is no reason to believe that it should become detached. There may, however, be rare occasions when this does happen, such as when the adhesive used to bond it to the natural tooth starts to weaken. This takes many years, but, when it does eventually lose some of its adhesive properties, the tooth may be more prone to becoming detached in certain situations. If this does happen, you should not attempt to reattach it yourself under any circumstances. This should be done professionally and if you call us, we will arrange a prompt appointment to have this done by one of our dental team.

These are just a few of the many questions that we hear on a daily basis from our patients, whether about crowns, implants or any other procedure. We are always happy to help you with any queries that you might have during your appointment. You can make these by calling the Clock Tower Dental Clinic in Epsom on 01372 720136.