Barnton Dental Spa - Edinburgh


A dental crown is the perfect way of rebuilding teeth that have been weakened or fractured by tooth decay or large fillings. It fits over the original tooth to add strength and recreate the shape of the natural tooth. A crown is sometimes referred to as a ‘cap’.

Why would a crown be needed?

Reasons to have a crown fitted can include the following:

  • Teeth have been weakened by a large filling
  • To improve the aesthetics of a tooth
  • To protect a root filling
  • If teeth are damaged due to an accident
  • To secure a denture or bridge in place

What materials are used?

Crowns can be constructed from a number of materials, including:

  • Porcelain fixed to a precious metal: This is the most common material used for caps and consists of base metal with porcelain applied over it
  • Porcelain or ceramic: This has a natural look but is not as strong as some other materials
  • Porcelain fixed to zirconia: This has great aesthetic benefits due to the lack of metal and is very strong
  • Metal: This is used primarily at the rear of the mouth due to the colour of the silver or gold. It requires less drilling of the teeth and is durable

How will the tooth be prepared?

The tooth is prepared to suit the shape of the crown, which requires the removal of the exterior surface to leave the sturdy inner core. The amount removed from the tooth will match up to the thickness of the crown. An impression of the tooth is then taken by the dentist and passed to a technician to create the crown.

Who will make the crown?

The impressions and additional details about the shade of the tooth will be used by an experienced dental technician to construct a bespoke crown.

Will it look obvious?

Crowns are constructed to match the exact shade of the natural teeth in the mouth in order to create a natural look. A temporary crown will be fitted until the final tooth restoration is fabricated and applied.

The temporary restoration will be more noticeable than the permanent one, but need only be worn for approximately two weeks.

How many appointments will I need?

Two appointments will be required for the treatment.

  • The tooth is firstly prepared from an impression taken of the teeth and the shade of your teeth will also be recorded. A temporary crown is then fitted
  • At the second appointment the permanent crown is applied

Does the treatment hurt?

There will be no pain during treatment as a local anaesthetic is issued. Preparing the tooth will feel much the same as having a filling. Local anaesthetic will not be needed if a post crown is fitted and there is no nerve.

What is a post crown?

When a tooth that is root-filled a post crown may be used. The crown which has been weakened will be drilled off at the gum line, after which a double ended ‘post’ is fabricated by the dentist and fitted in the root canal.

The post may be made from either manufactured stainless steel or custom-designed gold. One end will be fixed to the root canal and the other used to hold the crown in position.

What is the alternative to a post crown?

If the root-filled tooth has not totally broken down there is the possibility of rebuilding it by means of filling material. The ‘core’ will be prepared using the same method as a natural tooth and an impression will be taken.

How long will they last?

A cap’s life expectancy will depend on how it is maintained. The actual prosthesis will not decay but decay can occur in the area where the tooth and the edge of the crown meet. This area must be kept clean to avoid the risk of decay. If cared for correctly the tooth can last for many years.

How do they remain in place?

After the appearance of the crown is approved it will be fixed in position using dental cement. This forms a seal and holds the cap securely in place.

Will it feel any different?

It will have a slightly different shape your natural tooth. This will be noticeable when it is initially fitted, but should start to feel normal a few days later.

If the crown feels as though it is higher than your other teeth it may need to be adjusted. If this happens you should make an appointment to see your dentist.