Crowns

 

 

What are crowns?

The crown of a tooth is that part which is visible in the mouth. An artificial crown is used to protect and restore a broken, weakened or heavily filled tooth. They are also used to improve the appearance of discoloured or crooked teeth.

Crowns are made of many different materials including metals and ceramics.

What will my dentist do when fitting a crown?

  • The dentist will shape the tooth so that, when the artificial crown is fitted, it will be the same size and shape as a normal tooth.

  • Preparation time will depend on how damaged the tooth is and whether it needs to be built up first.

  • If the tooth has died or there isn't enough left to support the crown it may have to be root-filled first - this is sometimes called 'removing the nerve'. The crown is sometimes held in place by a peg or post in the root canal if a lot of the tooth is missing.

  • Your dentist will use a soft mouldable material to make an exact impression of what remains of the tooth that is to be crowned and the adjacent teeth.

  • A dental technician uses the impressions to make the crown.

  • A temporary crown made of plastic or metal, usually put over the tooth until the permanent crown is made. You can chew on a temporary crown but it won't be as strong as the finished one.

  • When the crown is fitted, your dentist may need to make small adjustments to make sure you can bite comfortably. The crown is tried on and then cemented into place.
     

What are the benefits of a crown?

  • A crown is strong and can look and feel exactly like a natural tooth. The colour and shape can be matched to your own teeth.

  • Depending on the strength of the tooth underneath, a crown can last for many years if you look after your mouth and teeth and the crown is not accidentally damaged.

  • Crowns can also improve your appearance.

Before

After

Veneers

 

 

What are veneers?

A veneer is a thin layer of tooth-coloured material that is put onto the front of the tooth to make it look better. This is done because the tooth might have been damaged by decay or an accident, or might be badly discoloured for some reason.

How are veneers fitted?

Veneers are usually made out of porcelain by a dental technician. You will have to visit the dentist more than once for this type of veneer.

  • Your dentist will check any fillings in the teeth first.

  • A very small amount of natural tooth material needs to be removed - just enough to prevent the veneer making the tooth look or feel bulky. For this reason, it may not be necessary for the dentist to numb the tooth.

  • Preparation time will depend on how damaged the tooth is and whether it needs to be built up with a filling first.

  • The dentist will need to use a putty-like material to make a mold of your mouth (called an 'impression'), so the dental technician can tell the shape and size of veneer to make for you.

  • Your dentist will glue the veneer made by the technician to the tooth when you next visit.

  • Veneers sometimes come away from the tooth or break if the tooth is knocked. They can sometimes be glued back on, but will have to be replaced if they are damaged.
     

Some veneers are built up on the tooth directly using the same material that is used for white fillings. The surface of the tooth is roughened with a mild acid. Then white filling material is applied in layers until the teeth look right.

What are the benefits of a veneer?

  • Veneers can greatly improve your appearance. They hide imperfections, and you lose very little natural tooth material.

  • Veneers also protect teeth from any more damage. Tooth surface can be dissolved away by acid in the mouth (usually from too frequent consumption of certain kinds of food and drink); this can make teeth very sensitive to hot and cold. In this situation, veneers can protect the teeth.

  • If the tooth is strong, a veneer is often a better option than a crown for improving a tooth's appearance.

Before

After

White Fillings

 

 

 

What are white fillings?

A filling replaces part of a tooth that has been lost because of decay or through accidental damage.

You may hear the dentist talk about 'composite', 'glass ionomer' and 'compomer' - these are different types of white, tooth coloured filling material.

What will my dentist do when giving me a white filling?

Your dentist will:

  • usually numb the tooth and adjacent area with an injection - some small fillings may not need this;

  • remove any decay, together with any old filling material, and shape the cavity using a small, high-speed drill;

  • wash and dry the tooth by blowing water and then air onto it'

  • use one of a variety of means to isolate the tooth and keep it dry;

  • apply a special adhesive to the tooth, typically in two or three stages, and then place the filling, again in stages;

  • harden the filling material between stages of the filling procedure, by the use of a bright light shone inside the mouth - this is called 'curing';

  • trim the filling as necessary and then polish it, checking that you can bite together comfortably.
     

What are the benefits of white fillings?

  • A tooth needs less drilling for a white, tooth coloured filling than for a silver filling;

  • Unlike silver fillings, white, tooth coloured filling materials, which come in different shades to match different coloured teeth, are glued into place, sealing the filling and helping to strengthen the remaining part of the tooth. White, tooth coloured filling materials can be used in most situations, including the filling of back teeth and making front teeth look better;

  • When used in back teeth, white, tooth coloured fillings look better than silver fillings, but take longer to place, partly because they are finished and polished in one visit. White, tooth coloured fillings may not wear as well as silver fillings put they do have the advantage that they can be repaired, rather than replaced, as and when something goes wrong.

White fillings in front teeth

White fillings in back teeth

Crowns, Veneers & White Fillings

17-18 The Waterfront,

Sovereign Harbour,

Eastbourne,

East Sussex

BN23 5UZ

info@harbour-orthodontics.co.uk

Phone 01323 472100

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