Are your teeth misaligned, cracked, decayed, or otherwise damaged? At LC&Z Dentistry, we can correct these problems with high-quality, aesthetic dental crowns.
Crowns, also called caps, are custom dental restorations that fit securely over a damaged tooth to restore structural integrity and aesthetic appeal. Crowns can help support and protect teeth, and prevent them from suffering further damage. Because dental crowns also help to prevent further decay, chipping, and other damage from occurring, they can also improve the appearance of your smile.
Placing a dental crown is a two-step process, beginning with an exam, X-rays, and preparation of the tooth for the crown. Typically, the affected tooth and gum area will be numbed. Once the tooth has been sufficiently prepped, the doctor makes an impression of the tooth, sends the impression to a lab, and has the crown made.
The doctor will place a temporary crown over prepped tooth to protect it until the permanent crown is ready for placement.During your second office visit, your temporary crown will be removed and replaced with the permanent one. Your doctor will first check the fit of your new crown and make any necessary adjustments before cementing it.
Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps that are put in position over a tooth, covering the entire tooth. The purposes is to restore the appearance, strength and size of the original tooth. When a crown is cemented in place, it fully encompasses the part of the tooth above the gum line.
You may need a dental crown in one of these situations:
- Restore a tooth that has been worn down or broken
- Protect a tooth that has been weakened by decay or cracked
- Give support to a tooth with a large filling
- Maintain placement of a dental bridge
- Cover teeth that are discolored or misshapened
- Create a cosmetic modification - Cover an implant
Crowns are made from metal alloys, such as gold, ceramic, resin, or porcelain that is fused to metal.
Crowns made from stainless steel are prefabricated and normally used temporarily. Stainless crowns offer protection to a tooth while waiting for a permanent tooth to be made. Stainless steel crowns are often used on children to cover a baby tooth. This is because the stainless crowns do not require multiple visits to the dental office and are less expensive than other types of crowns. The stainless steel crown will come out naturally when the child’s permanent tooth grows in.
- The color of porcelain crowns that have been fused to metal can be matched exactly with the teeth it is placed next to. This is not possible with metallic crowns. Nevertheless, this type of crown causes opposing teeth to wear faster than resin or metal crowns. Additionally, it is possible that the porcelain part of the tooth can be chipped. This type of crown looks most like natural teeth, with the exception of all porcelain crowns. There are instances when the metal beneath the porcelain can be seen as a dark line, particularly at the gum line if the gums receded. This type of crown is a good choice when the strength of metal is required.
Metals used for crowns include various types of alloys including gold, palladium, chromium or nickel. Metal crowns are the most durable and are able to withstand chewing and biting forces well. In addition, metal crowns almost never break or chip. Their primary drawback is their unnatural appearance, making them a good choice for rear molars that aren’t readily visible.
Porcelain and ceramic crowns offer the most natural appearance of all types of crowns and they’re a good crown to select for front teeth or for people with a metal allergy.
Resin crowns are the least expensive of all types of crowns. However, they do have their drawbacks. For instance, they are more likely to fracture than other types of crowns. For this reason, they are frequently used as temporary crowns.
- Zirconia crowns, also called milled crowns are constructed digitally in a dental lab, or in a dental office that has the necessary software and hardware to create them. Dental offices that have this equipment may be able to construct a crown in one visit and alleviate the need for a temporary crown.
Crown preparation customarily takes two dental visits. The initial visit involves tooth preparation and examination and the second consists of the permanent crown placement.
During the first visit an x-ray will be taken to examine the roots of the receiving tooth and the bone surrounding the root. If the decay is extensive, if there is a risk of injury to the pulp of the tooth or an infection risk, it may be necessary to first perform a root canal.
Prior to making a crown an anesthetic will be applied to the tooth and surrounding gum tissue. Then the receiving tooth will be filed along its surface to create sufficient space for the crown. The quantity of the surface of the tooth that is removed is dependent upon the kind of crown that is utilized. If a large portion of the tooth is not present as a result of damage or decay, the dentist may have to make use of some material to fill the tooth so the crown can be supported.
Subsequent to the above process, the dentist will normally use a putty or paste to create an impression or mold of the receiving tooth. At times an impression can be produced by a digital scanner. An impression is also made of the opposing tooth to ensure the crown will not have an adverse effect upon the bite.
The impressions will then be given to a dental lab that manufactures crowns. Normally, the crown will be sent back to the dental office within two weeks. If it is a porcelain crown, the dentist will also select the color that best matches the adjacent teeth.
A temporary crown will then be placed over the tooth to protect it while waiting for the permanent crown to be made. Temporary crowns are secured with temporary cement.
Once your permanent crown has been manufactured and returned to your dentist, you’re ready for your second visit. During the second visit the temporary crown will be removed and the new crown will be checked to ensure its color and fit are acceptable. If all is good, the tooth and surrounding gum will receive a local anesthetic and the permanent crown will be secured in place with cement.