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Section Questions and Answers

Crowns or Replacement Crowns

  1. What is a replacement crown?
  2. How is a replacement crown prepared and made?
  3. What are replacement crowns made of?
  4. Will the pared down tooth be sensitive until I receive my crown?
  5. Is it uncomfortable or painful to have a crown made?
  6. Will replacement crowns make me look good?
  7. How well will I be able to eat with a replacement crown?
  8. How successful are replacement crowns?
  9. What role does the dental technician play?

 
1. What is a replacement crown?

  • A replacement crown replaces part or all of the natural crown of a tooth. It is also called a crown or a cap.
  • The visible part of the tooth is called the crown. It is joined to the root of the tooth which is in the jawbone under the gum.
  • When all, or a large part of the original crown of a tooth has been destroyed, a replacement crown is made to restore the tooth.
  • A replacement crown is also made for a healthy tooth when it forms part of a bridge, or when it is used for cosmetic purposes.
  • A natural crown that has become discoloured or unsightly can be replaced with a new crown. The new crown can be made to match the surrounding teeth in colour, shape and proportion.
  • A replacement crown is prepared by the dentist and made by a dental technician.

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2. How is a replacement crown prepared and made?

  • The dentist will pare down the tooth, and remove any decay.
  • An impression of the prepared tooth is taken using an elastic material. This is sent to the dental technician, where the replacement crown is made.
  • A temporary acrylic crown will be fitted over the prepared tooth, while the replacement crown is being made.
  • The new crown is then cemented onto the prepared tooth.
  • Replacement crowns can also be used as supports for a bridge, where they are joined to artificial teeth to fill a gap between the teeth.

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Before
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Preparation
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After

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3. What are replacement crowns made of?

  • Replacement crowns may be made of porcelain, gold or a combination of metals.
  • Porcelain can be fused to a metal base, usually gold or silver, when the crown needs added strength, and when a good appearance is required. This is called a porcelain jacket crown.
  • Temporary crowns are made of acrylic.

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Crown made of
porcelain and metal
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Porcelain crown

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4. Will the pared down tooth be sensitive until I receive my crown?

  • No, it won't. The dentist will make and install a temporary acrylic crown to protect the pared down tooth. It will look good and be comfortable to eat with.

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Preparation
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Temporary crowns
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Final crowns

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5. Is it painful or uncomfortable to have a crown made?

  • The procedure is not painful because a local anaesthetic is used during the preparation of the tooth, and the taking of the impression.
  • Pain relief is seldom necessary after the treatment.
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold sometimes occurs after the crown has been cemented, but this is usually temporary.

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6. Will replacement crowns make me look good?

  • Replacement crowns can restore and enhance the appearance of teeth and the smile.
  • They are often used in cosmetic dentistry as part of the treatment. Replacement crowns can be made to look natural, and to match the surrounding teeth.

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Before
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After

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7. How well will I be able to eat with a replacement crown?

  • Eating with a replacement crown should be the same as with a natural tooth. With pure porcelain crowns, some care may be necessary.

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8. How successful are replacement crowns?

  • Replacement crowns are very successful for restoring teeth.
  • They are functional: chewing is comfortable and the same as with natural teeth.
  • They are aesthetic: they look natural and match the size, colour and shape of the other teeth.
  • They are durable: they are known to last for up to forty years.

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Before
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After

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9. What role does the dental technician play?

  • The dental technician plays an important part in the making of a crown. It takes skill and experience to fabricate a crown from the impression that the dentist provides. The crown must be very precise in its colour and dimensions.
  • The impression that is received from the dentist is used to make a plaster or stone cast of the prepared tooth or teeth. The cast is a copy of the tooth or teeth.
  • It allows the technician to make a crown over the exact copy of a prepared tooth.
  • The technician will use the same shade/colour guide as the dentist, to ensure that the replacement crown will match the colour of the adjacent teeth.

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Impression on left
Crown on cast (right)
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Crown + cast
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Crown on cast
for the dentist

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