Restorative And Cosmetic Dentistry – The Role of Dental Crowns

Crowns are a widely used method for restoring damaged teeth at our Bedford practice – here’s an overview.

Dental surgery in actionAlso sometimes referred to as a ‘cap’, a dental crown is a commonly used way of restoring damaged or broken teeth. They can also be used for cosmetic purposes, for example where a tooth has worn down and appears to be shorter than it should be.

Crowns are usually made from porcelain and offer a high level of strength as well as being largely stain resistant, meaning that they will stay white and natural looking.

In addition to this, The Dental Centre Bedford is pleased to provide crowns in just one visit using our in-house CEREC system; unlike many practices where you may have to wait a week or more for your crowns to be produced at an external laboratory.

There are three main uses of teeth crowns which we will take a look at now.

Broken or badly decayed teeth

This is one of the most common uses of a crown in dentistry. Where tooth decay occurs, we generally preserve it by removing the decay and then fill the cavity that is left. In some cases though, the cavity may be so large that this will leave the tooth significantly weakened. Equally, if a tooth breaks in a certain way, a filling might not be a pragmatic solution and we will often turn to crowns to resolve this problem.

To fit a crown, the natural tooth must be prepared and shaped so that the crown can be securely attached using a strong clinical adhesive. In some instances a post may also be required to provide the security needed to attach the crown in a way that makes it not only aesthetically pleasing but also suitable for everyday use.

Root canal completion

Another situation where a crown is likely to be used is to complete a root canal procedure. This is an invasive treatment that sometimes requires the top of a tooth to be removed so that the dentist can remove any infected material from the root canals within and then fill them appropriately. In some cases, it might be possible to leave it like this, but for most people, not only would the restoration look unnatural but would also be significantly weakened and limited in its functionality. To rectify this, a porcelain crown is usually attached in the same way as for a broken tooth, providing the strength that the tooth needs for everyday use.

Dental implants

The third situation where a dental crown will be used is in implant placement. There is sometimes a common misconception that a dental implant is the whole replacement tooth, including the visible crown part. Strictly speaking, this is not true and an implant procedure requires 3 different sections to be applied. The first of these is the implant itself. This is the metal screw-like object that is placed into the jaw. This is then allowed to fuse with the bone before the next part, the abutment, is attached. This piece allows us to securely attach the final part of the procedure; the crown. As with the treatments above, this can be made to match the colour of your existing teeth, leaving it looking very natural.


Finally, we would like to let you know a little about the Cerec technology available at our Bedford dental practice which allows us to produce your crowns in just a single visit. This is done by taking 3D images of your teeth using state-of-the-art scanning equipment. The information is then fed into a machine which will produce an accurate restoration by milling the crown from a single block of porcelain. You can see a speeded up example of how it’s done here. The process usually takes around an hour and you can wait in our comfortable waiting room whilst this happens.

Cerec avoids the need for two visits as is usually the case; the first to take impressions and the second to have the crown fitted. Cerec is ideal for busy people and some reports have also claimed that Cerec produced crowns offer a superior product when compared to traditional techniques.

Crowns are just one of the restorative and cosmetic dental treatments that we provide to help you have strong and attractive teeth. If you would like to find out more about the treatments available or would like to register at our local dentist, please call The Dental Centre Bedford on 01234 819868.