Permanent crowns can be constructed from several different materials and your dentist will discuss the options with you:
Metal crowns can be made from gold alloy, or metals such as nickel and chromium. Metal crowns are usually the hardest wearing and least likely to chip or break although the obvious drawback is their metallic colouring. Gold crowns may be chosen for aesthetic reasons, or metal crowns used for teeth which are out of sight, such as molars.
Metal Fused To Porcelain
Crowns made of metal fused to porcelain combine the strength of metal crowns with the ability to match the existing shade which is available when using porcelain. One drawback of these crowns is that the metal behind the porcelain may, in time, show through as a black line where the crown meets the gum.
Porcelain Or Ceramic
All porcelain and ceramic crowns are far and away the best choice in terms of looking natural and being cosmetically pleasing.
Do I Have To Take Any Precautions When I Have Been Fitted With A Temporary Crown?
During the time when the dentist has fitted a temporary crown, you will have to take some precautions regarding the food you eat. Temporary crowns are, by their nature, not intended to last forever and are therefore not fixed as securely as permanent crowns. Therefore, it will be necessary to avoid chewing on the side of the mouth which has the temporary crown fitted and to steer clear of sticky foods which might pull the crown out, or hard foods which may chip and damage it. As temporary crowns tend to stain more easily than permanent crowns, it may also be sensible to avoid foods which tend to stain, such as beetroot or curry.
How Long Will A Crown Last?
To some degree, the longevity of your crown is down to you and how well you look after your teeth. If you maintain good standards of oral hygiene, visit your dentist regularly, eat the right diet and don’t grind your teeth or use them to do things like opening bottles, then a crown can last between 10 and 15 years.
Can I Eat And Drink Normally After A Crown Has Been Fitted?
Yes. There are no special dietary precautions necessary when permanent crowns are fitted. Because they are cemented over existing teeth, normal care must be taken to avoid food and drink which will cause tooth decay.
Are There Any Possible Problems?
Although, the vast majority of the time, dental crowns are a simple and straightforward procedure, problems can arise very occasionally:
A newly crowned tooth may feel slightly uncomfortable as the anaesthetic wears off. This should fade shortly. If the tooth to which the crown is fitted still has a nerve, it may be that it is sensitive to hot or cold foods. This should be treated in the usual manner, i.e., with specialist toothpaste.
A porcelain crown may chip occasionally. A small chip can be fixed with resin, whereas a large chip will mean the crown has to be replaced.
Sometimes the cement holding the crown in place may wear away, causing the crown to loosen. Not only does this mean it could fall out, but it also leaves the tooth beneath vulnerable to decay. If your crown feels loose, tell your dentist.