Your “Crowning Glory” Could Be Your Mouth!
Nowadays Your “Crowning Glory” Could Be Your Mouth!
"More and more people are having crowns fitted these days" says New Zealand Dental Association Executive Director, Dr Robin Whyman. “This is largely due to changes in our population - people are living longer, and keeping their teeth for longer.”
“Many of our [current] adults have had a lot of fillings during their childhood and teenage years. These teeth eventually weaken, and can fracture over the years. They can also have hidden cracks, making them tender to bite on, or sensitive to hot or cold. Crowns are an ideal solution and can be one of the best options for heavily filled teeth.”.
“If a heavily filled tooth does break it can leave an unsightly gap or a large filling. In the past, people have tended to ‘put up with it’, but a crown offers them the possibility of a stronger and better looking tooth,” says Dr Whyman. “It’s becoming increasingly normal for many mature people to have a number of crowned teeth.”
Crowns are tooth-shaped caps specially made by a dental technician to fit over front or back teeth. They are usually made from tooth-coloured porcelain, and often have a metal alloy or gold core for strength. However, they can also be made from all-gold or from newer all-porcelain techniques.
As a treatment option. crowns allow dentists to return much of the strength to the tooth with a hard restoration that looks good – and can in fact improve the appearance of the tooth.
“Continuing improvements in porcelain techniques are allowing stronger and stronger crowns to be made that look like natural teeth,” Dr Whyman says.
Treatment is carried out by shaping the outer layer of the existing filling and tooth, to reduce its size. The dentist takes a mould of the tooth, which is sent to a dental laboratory where a permanent crown is made. In the meantime, the tooth is covered with a temporary crown. Once the permanent crown is ready, the dentist checks the fit and appearance before cementing it in place in the mouth.
“The decision about whether a crown is the best option for your particular situation requires professional assessment and advice from your dentist,” Dr Whyman says.
For anyone wanting to know more about whether crowns would provide a strong, attractive, long term restoration for their teeth, the New Zealand Dental Association recommends they discuss it with their dentist.