Tooth decay and gum disease can cause significant damage to the teeth that can be very painful and unpleasant. When decay gets to a certain point, it can no longer be treated with improved cleaning and a dental filling. If the tooth has been sufficiently damaged it will need further protection in the shape of a dental crown. The same is also true of a tooth that has been damaged as the result of a dental trauma. Chips or cracks that cannot be repaired with dental bonding will need to be protected with a dental crown.
Dental crowns are ceramic or metal (or both) caps that fit over the whole part of the tooth that protrudes above the gum. It is the cemented in place and in this way protects the tooth from further damage and attack form plaque and bacteria. Dental crowns have been used for many years to protect the teeth. They last between ten and twenty years depending on how well they are cared for.
The manufacture of dental crowns used to involve taking several dental moulds and x-rays and then gradually building it up out of layers of porcelain. Some dentists still use this method but new technology called Cerec uses digital x-rays and three-dimensional imaging to allow a computer-guided mill to sculpt the new crown in a matter of minutes. This new technology has also improved the accuracy of treatment as well as speeding up treatment times for all patients. Ask a London W1 dentist for more information about dental crowns.
Dental crowns can also be used to protect teeth after root canal treatments. The dentist will apply the crown to protect the tooth from becoming infected again and against further damage due to a weakening of tooth structure.