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A crown, also sometimes termed a cap is a tooth shaped material that covers or attaches to an existing tooth or similar structure.
For the most part it is a tooth-like replica that covers and repairs an existing tooth.
Dentists have used many different materials over the years but we currently use gold alloys separately or in combination with tooth coloured materials that are usually porcelain based.
The most recent technologies we use are structural cast/extruded glasses or sophisticated thermally fused porcelains incorporating some extremely tough base materials.
From the technical point of view we now have materials with fantastic strength and great aesthetics.
How long can a crown last... I still regularly see crowns I placed 25 to 30 years ago. Within our practice there is work that is even older but a realistic expectation would be slightly greater that a well looked after quality car, so about 20 to 25 years... there will always be vintage examples.
Should crowns fall off. No, but there are a very small minority of heroic crowns where practically no original tooth remained. These have their problems!
Do crowns change colour. No, but your own teeth may darken slightly over the years.
I can see a dark edge, If everything was totally stable and perfect this would not happen but over the years our gums may recede a little. A specific and widely used crown called a porcelain thermally fused bonded crown may show a small amount of a dark metal band at its base from the outset but this is normally well hidden.
The latest crowns have near perfect aesthetics and we believe they will not suffer these dark edge problems in the future.
Bridgework is simply a run of linked crowns where one or more is not supported or covering an existing tooth but is in fact attached to its near neighbours. We use bridgework to replace isolated missing teeth.
Costs of crowns: This depends on the type of crown and starts around £400 and rises to £750. The vast majority of crowns we use fall at the lower range either at £395 group or at £435.
We always fully correct the underlying tooth and any existing fillings present as part of the procedure and this is usually inclusive of the charge but sometimes the degree of reconstruction is considerably more complex and therefore does attract an additional fee.