A dental crown is an artificial cap positioned over an existing tooth.

They can be made from metal or ceramic materials, and can be matched up in shape, size and colour to fit in with your natural teeth. They can be used in both general dentistry and cosmetic treatments to help strengthen a tooth or improve its appearance respectively.

As a cosmetic dentistry treatment they can be used as a means of changing the look of your smile and fixing the appearance of your teeth.

What is the process of preparation for a crown?

A crown treatment involves a few steps.

  • Firstly, you will need to have an examination to ascertain the health of the rest of your teeth. In certain cases, a root canal treatment may need to be performed first.
  • Once your oral health is examined, your teeth will be prepared for the crown. Your dentist will provide a temporary crown during the time in which your permanent crown is being crafted. Once this is done, the permanent crown will be cemented into place.

What is a temporary crown?

A temporary crown differs from a permanent crown in both material and use. Temporary crowns are made from plastic and acrylic and therefore won’t last that long, making them perfect for use as an interim measure.

Temporary crowns are used during the preparation stage, before permanent crowns are fitted. The reason temporary crowns are used is to help diagnose fractured teeth, allow the gums to heal after surgery, and to help plan the layout of your new smile. Whilst treatments do differ from case to case, it is more than likely that you will be fitted with temporary crowns prior to receiving permanent crowns.

How do I care for my temporary dental crown?

During the time in which you have your temporary crown, we advise extra caution, as it is not as stable as a permanent crown. It is best to avoid any particularly hard or chewy foods – including chewing gum, raw vegetables, hard lollies and the like. Additionally, it is best if you try and avoid chewing on the areas of your mouth with temporary crowns. We also recommend that your refrain from flossing the crown.

How do I care for my permanent crown?

Unlike temporary crowns, your permanent crowns do not require any specific or careful treatment, but of course they should be looked after with the same level of care as your other teeth. This includes brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. We do, however, strongly recommend that you follow our 6-monthly hygiene maintenance programme. For more information regarding this programme, please contact your closest Dental O So Gentle clinic.

How long do dental crowns last?

While it is hard to say, because there are many factors that can influence the time a dental crown will last, typically they can last for 5 to 15 years. Not only will your oral health affect the life of your crowns, but so will biting your fingernails, crunching on ice or similar substances, and grinding your teeth. In short the better you take care of your crown, the longer it will last. To find out more information about how to help your dental crowns last as long as possible, get in contact with one of our Perth dental clinics.