What is a dental crown?

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap”; an artificial restoration that is placed over a damaged tooth to improve the appearance and restore its shape, size and strength. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.

Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?
  • To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
  • To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
  • To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
  • To hold a dental bridge in place
  • To cover misshapen or severely discoloured teeth
  • To cover a dental implant
  • To make a cosmetic modification
How does a Crown work with a dental implant?

In some cases a dental implant may be recommended. A dental implant is a tiny titanium post inserted into the jaw that acts as a tooth root replacement. The gum is allowed to heal and then a crown is affixed to the top of the dental implant. This ensures the crown stays firmly in place, looking and feeling like a natural tooth.

How long does it take to get a crown?

Initially, we will remove decay, prepare the tooth to the ideal shape for the crown, and fit it with a temporary crown made of a plastic material. The amount of the tooth removed will be the same as the thickness of the crown. Once the tooth is shaped, the dentist will take an impression (mould) of the prepared tooth, one of the opposite jaw and possibly another to mark the way you bite together.

The impressions will then be given to the dental technician, along with an appropriate shade and other information needed for the crown to be made. On your next visit we take off the temporary crown and fit the final crown, cementing it into place so you have a new, beautiful-looking tooth.

What is a crown made of?

New materials are constantly being introduced as dental technology advances. Here are some popular choices: Porcelain bonded to precious (or non-precious) metal. This is what most crowns are made from. A metal base is made and then porcelain is applied in layers over it.

Porcelain crowns

These are not as strong as bonded crowns but look very natural, and are often used for front teeth.

All-ceramic crowns

This modern technique offers a metal-free alternative, which can give the strength of a bonded crown and the appearance of a porcelain crown so it’s suitable for all areas of the mouth.

Gold alloy crowns

Usually mixed with other metal alloys to increase its strength this makes a strong, durable restoration but is silver or gold in colour and therefore may be used at the back of the mouth in the molar area.

Choice of materials for a crown or bridge explained


A bridge is a fixed partial denture used to fill a gap in the mouth where several teeth are absent.

Why can’t I just have a Gap in my Mouth?

All of the teeth play a role is clear speaking, chewing and in maintaining the correct alignment of all your other teeth.The teeth next to the space ‘lean in’ to the gap and that changes the way your upper and lower jaws come together, altering your bite. This can lead to food getting packed into the gap, causing both gum disease and tooth decay. Missing teeth can lead to a sinking in of the mouth, making people look much older than they are. They should be replaced for optimum oral health.


Your options depend on how many teeth you are missing, and where they are in your mouth, as well as the condition of the remaining teeth. One option is removable false tooth/teeth, which is a partial denture. The other choice is to get a fixed bridge. This is often ideal when there are fewer teeth to replace and the gap is between teeth. Firstly, bridges are only possible if you have enough strong teeth with good bone support.

Fixed bridges are applied by placing crowns on the teeth adjacent to the space (these are called abutments). In certain cases the bridge may simply be bonded to the adjacent teeth to preserve tooth structure. Dental implants may be recommended. Removable bridges are attached to the teeth with metal clasps or by precision attachments (partial dentures). Dental implants may be recommended.

How is a bridge prepared and attached?

It depends on the recommended for dental implant placement to support the bridge. After your consultation and assessment, your treatment plan options will be outlined for you. As the bridge must be fabricated very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing tooth, impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab where the bridge will be constructed.

What is the Bridge made of?

Bridges can be constructed from different alloys, porcelain or tooth-coloured zirconium for a metal-free bridge. We offer advanced technology crowns for non-metal bridges here at Smile Store for people who would like a metal-free result.

How do I take care of my bridge?

A strict regimen of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth and gums clean. This is very important as the bridge needs healthy neighbouring teeth for support, so your oral hygiene is critical.

Preparing a dental crown

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