Dental Crowns
  • Used for: Broken or severely chipped teeth
  • Treatment length: 1 day – 4 weeks
  • Cost: £250 – £800 per crown

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What are dental crowns?

A dental crown or dental cap is a cover that is used to cover broken and damaged teeth. Crowns can be made from a variety of materials including gold, metal, porcelain fused to metal and all porcelain or ceramic crowns.

What does the procedure for having crowns fitted involved?


The first step in the crowning procedure is to drill down the existing tooth. This is done to create enough space for the crown to be fitted over the existing tooth and is carried out under local anaesthesia. Once the tooth is prepared your dentist will take an impression of your teeth to allow a custom made crown to be manufactured. The impression is sent to the lab where it can take between 2 and 3 weeks for your new crown to be manufactured. Whilst you wait for your crown to be made you can use a temporary crown to cover and protect your prepared tooth.


Once your custom made crown has been returned from the lab, you can visit the dentist again to have the crown fitted. Before it is fitted however they will prepare your tooth with a special etching acid to give the dental cement a good surface to bond to. Before being fixed, the crown will be placed over your tooth to make sure it is a good fit and its colour is consistent with your other teeth. Once you are happy, the crown will be cemented into place.


Dental Crowns

This patient had Porcelain Crowns to improve the appearance and strengthen teeth that already have large existing restorations that may be discolored. The case study courtesy of M L Crowe Dental Practices

Are dental crowns available on the NHS?


Dental crowns are available through the NHS as a band 3 treatment and cost up to £214. Crowns available through the NHS are made from metal or porcelain fused to metal. If you opt to have crowns fitted privately you can opt for all-ceramic crowns or all-porcelain crowns which are recognised as the most aesthetically pleasing materials for manufacturing crown as they provide a better natural colour match than any other type of crown. However, they are not as strong as porcelain fused to metal crowns.


What are the disadvantages to having dental crowns fitted?


The main disadvantage with having dental crowns fitted is that they require your existing tooth to be shaved down to accommodate the crown. This needs to be considered before having the crown fitted as with any cosmetic treatment that damages the existing teeth. In saying that dental crowns are not always a cosmetic procedure and can also be used to protect weak and damaged teeth from further deteriorating. If cared for properly crowns can stay in place for between 5 and 15 years.


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