What are Dental Crowns ?

dental crowns information

Dental crowns explained.

Information about
Dental Crowns



What are dental crowns ? [ teeth caps or dental capsules ]
A crown is a lab made, above the gum part of a tooth made from ceramic (metal and ceramic or gold or other material) and basically caps what remains of the original tooth.

As the term crown suggests, a crown 'crowns' a tooth or 'caps' that which remains of the original tooth above the gum.

Crowns usually cover most of the extruding
part of the remaining original tooth.


When are crowns used ?
A dental crown is used when a tooth is broken or decayed to such extent where too little of the original tooth remains to be able to support or hold a filling.

A crown may be used to repair a damaged or decayed tooth, to better the cosmetic appearance of a broken or decayed tooth and also to strengthen a tooth weakened by decay, breakage or injury.


Why not a filling instead of a crown ?
In theory, if a large part of a tooth has gone missing or has to be drilled away due to decay, standard amalgamate or composite filling material could be used to make up for the missing part.

The problem is that this would be similar to building a whole house wall using cement and no bricks or steel strengthening rods.
Place the roof on this wall and you risk a collapse either by the roof's weight, or by any wobbling the wall might suffer when the wind blows at the roof.

Same with teeth and just substitute the weight of the roof by the sheer pressure exerted when one bites onto something.
A large filling would have a tendency to crack or split.

Also - and this is the main reason - no amount of manual filling or sculpting by the dentists can get the freeform filling material into such a perfect mouth fitting shape as the lab made crown made from a cast form taken of both the lower and upper jaw.

So where there is too much tooth missing, it is easier, and much more practical to get a crown made than to plaster up the hole with filling material.

Last but not least - a dental crown is made in the lab from the cast and is modeled, baked, filed and heated outside of your mouth - which means much less fiddling around on and around the broken or decayed tooth thus exposing the already weakened area to even more pounding.
And it's much more easier to prepare and mold and cast a tooth outside of the mouth than inside.


How are dental crowns prepared for, made and then fitted :
Usually this would be done in 2 sessions

First session:
the tooth needing a crown would be prepared by means of filing away any broken edges, treating the root canal if necessary, and in general preparing the tooth to be in top shape to receive the crown.
Sometimes - if too much of the original tooth is missing above the gum a metal rivet might be cemented into the root canal for the capping crown then to be cemented onto (Not to be confused with implants)

When all this is done a cast will be taken to get the exact form of the teeth and to allow the laboratory technicians to make an exact replica - or a precise copy of the crown which when fitted will fit with the existing teeth and the mouth bite.

Mostly, a temporary crown or a several teeth spanning bridge (a tooth out of the tube or fast made by the lab ) is fitted for the 3 or 4 days whilst one waits for the crown to be made by the lab.

Second session :
Once the crown is ready, the temporary crown or bridge is removed and the lab made crown is fitted by the dentists and tested for an exact fit.
If the fit is not 100% exact then either the dentists and sometimes the lab technician will do a bit more filing (on the crown) to get the precision needed.

Once the crown fits perfectly, and the patient and dentist are both happy that the jaw can close normally and the tooth has a good bite grip, with no part of the new crown too high or grating improperly on the teeth below or above it - it is then cemented permanently into place.


How are ceramic crowns made ?
A thin layer of high noble metal is prepared to exactly fit over the prepared tooth and then porcelain is layered and fired onto this in a ceramic oven at over 2000 degrees, till the desired shape and size is achieved.

How long can a dental crown last ?
A crown can last from 5 to 15 years or even longer.

This depends on how big the crown was as compared to the size of what remained of the original tooth, where it is in the mouth, (hence how much pressure will be exerted - molars exert much more pressure than incisors) what material it was made from and many other factors concerning the care one has for their teeth etc. etc.


How much can a dental crown cost in the Czech Republic ?
A crown costs between Euro 166 to Euro 197 in the Czech Republic.

Elsewhere in the world a ceramic crown can cost Euro 600 upwards


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