Often, when a tooth has been compromised yet it still above the gum line, it doesn’t need to be removed, but can have a cap placed over the structure. This cap is called a crown as both a biting surface for the damaged tooth whilst protecting the sensitive dentine underneath. Crowns are comprised of either metal, porcelain, or a combination of the two, to ensure an attractive exterior with a strong foundation. If requested, crowns can also be constructed from gold. After cleaning and shaping the tooth to be capped, an impression is taken of the structure and the bite and sent to a laboratory where the crown is fabricated to perfectly fit the contours of your mouth. The tooth is then sent back to our clinic where we test the tooth in the mouth before permanently cementing it into place.
Compromised teeth which maybe benefit from a crown include those with cracked enamel, prevalent decay, damaged cusps or defective restorations. Often in these circumstances, a simple filling is not sufficient in restoring the tooth and an all-encompassing crown is required to return the tooth to a functional position. Without a crown, the tooth can encounter further complications, such as sensitivity, nerve damage and extensive cracks. Adding a crown to the tooth can add years to its lifespan, as well as improving the cosmetic appearance of your smile.
Comparatively, an onlay replaces the dominant portion of a tooth, and can include a partial crown to covers any damaged cusps. More conservative than crowns, onlays are recommended for teeth which have been damaged beyond a regular filling, yet still retain a lot of tooth structure.
Although often more expensive than restorations, fillings are not a replacement for a tooth which requires an onlay or a crown. Unfortunately if too much tooth structure has been lost, there is not enough matter left to support a filling, and thus more serious measures need to be employed to ensure functionality in the mouth. In these situations, a crown or an onlay is the best way to restore your tooth.
Call us to book appointment today, or for any questions you may have. We are always happy to help.