Crowns - Restoring Damaged Teeth, Smile Africa - Dental Clinic in Nairobi Kenya

Crowns are also known as caps. A crown consists of an artificial hollow tooth that is placed as a cover on decayed or damaged teeth. The instances that warrant the use of crowns as a restorative measure include cases of broken teeth, fillings or root canals. Basically, what a crown does is to restore a tooth’s appearance, function and shape. Besides, crowns protect the underlying tooth layer from more damage. For a misshapen or discolored tooth, crowns come in to cover these damages. Unless you observe someone’s teeth carefully, you cannot tell whether there are crowns or not. The end result is a tooth that looks as natural as the rest of the set.

Crowns and dental specialists

Like other fields of medicine, dentistry has got a range of specializations. Each has its own specialist. Unless your dentist has got some knowledge or skills in crowning teeth, he/she will refer you to a specialist known as prosthodontist. The specialist practices prothodontics which deals with replacement and restoration of teeth through the use of artificially made substitutes.

The procedure involved in crowning

  • The dentist must first administer anesthesia (local anesthesia to be specific)
  • In order to create an allowance for the crown’s surface area, the dentist has to file the targeted tooth. This removes some layers upon which the crown will be placed.
  • He/she then takes an impression/print of the just filed tooth. The same is done for the neighboring teeth. The impression acts like a copy. This us what your dentist will use to make a suitably fitting crown. The material used in crowns is the same as what dentists use to do fillings. The end product is a crown whose shape resembles that of the original tooth.
  • The process of making a customized crown takes some time. Before then, the dentist has to put a temporary one to cover the tooth that was earlier filed down. This acts as a temporary protective measure as you await production of the real crown.
  • That means you have to make another appointment with your dentist. This time round he/she removes the temporarily placed crown and replaces it with the customized one. Next the dentist checks whether it fits properly, it has the right color, the bite is aligned and whether the shape is that of a tooth. If everything is confirmed to be okay, he/she cements the crown.

Crown types

Different materials are used to make crowns. A dentist will select the right one for you. Here are the types:

  • Metal crowns: These are gold based and are known to last long. They don’t break or chip and have no effect on the other teeth near where they have been placed. The only downside is that the color of gold does not correspond with the natural teeth color. Gold crowns are therefore not ideal for front teeth.
  • Composite: They have a natural look and don’t get chipped easily. However, the natural act of chewing wears them out. On the other hand, brushing of teeth also removes the crown’s surface ad this exposes them to stains.
  • Porcelain: Have the best natural look among all crowns. Due to their brittle nature, they cannot be placed on molars.