Perfect Smiles

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With everything our teeth go through it’s no surprise that our smiles can look less than perfect and a little help is needed to restore them back to their prime. Along the way, we often need fillings or we lose, break or chip teeth and the only way to get them back to looking like they once were is to have a cap or crown placed over them.

Crowns are perfect if you have mismatched teeth or have had root canal as the tooth is left weaker and needs to be protected considering that it is no longer technically alive and able to look after itself.

Crowns will normally be made from porcelain that has been bonded to precious metals as it is long and hard wearing. However, for a more natural look, you can have crowns made entirely from porcelain although these are best for front teeth as they do not last long enough for molars.

More modern techniques make use of glass and ceramic, which offer a metal-free alternative but can be just as hard-wearing as metal and as natural looking as porcelain.

The Crowning Process
The first step involves removing much of the tooth’s original structure and enamel, including parts of the tooth that may still be healthy, so that the crown can cover the remainder securely.

The crown is then bonded to the tooth with dental glue. Obviously, the downside of this procedure is that it cannot be reversed. The remaining tooth will be a little more than a stump, so if a crown or bridge doesn’t work, removal may be the only other option and a false tooth put in its place.

A filling material is used to build the tooth back up to shape. An impression of the tooth plus the upper and lower surrounding teeth is taken to ensure the crown fits perfectly into your mouth and won’t affect your bite.

You will be fitted with a temporary crown for the two to three weeks it takes for the dental laboratory to create your crown, which can then be fitted in place.

The Life Expectancy of a Crown
You can expect the crown to last up to 15 years before it will need to be replaced, but there are a few things that can go wrong such as the crown becoming loose, falling off, or chipping. It is vital that you contact your dentist as soon as this happens so that they can advise you on the best way to look after your crown and the remaining tooth, until you can be refitted, so as to avoid bacteria getting under the crown and causing further decay to your original tooth.

Victoria Connor is a leading dentist who specialises in crowns and bridges and advises on behalf of