A dental crown is an artificial tooth that fits over the real tooth to make it look cosmetically appealing or to correct damage to the underlying structure. Crowns are very common procedures in our practice; we are expert and using these tools of the dental profession to protect your smile.
This blog will talk about the process of the dental procedure known as the crown.
Why Would I Need a Crown, Anyway?
There are several reasons for coming to our practice to be fitted with a dental crown:
- You may have a cracked, worn down, or weak tooth that needs protecting.
- It may be part of other restorative work, such as a dental bridge.
- It may be cosmetic, to repair a slightly imperfect smile or to cover discolored teeth.
- If you have a dental implant, we use a crown to cover it.
Crowns can even be used on baby teeth, in special circumstances. They are safe and relatively easy procedures to accomplish in the dentist’s chair; we apply crowns dozens of times each year.
Crowns are typically made from tooth-colored porcelain, resin, or ceramic materials. However, permanent crowns can also be made from metals like gold or stainless steel. Metal crowns do have the advantage of being strong and able to withstand biting and chewing longer than ceramic crowns. Metal crowns can be used on the back molars unless you want a silver or gold front tooth. (It happens.) Each of these types of crowns has different pros and cons – contact us to discuss your options.
The Crown Procedure
Adding a crown is normally a two-step process. The first visit typically includes:
- An exam and x-rays to check the roots and bone.
- If there is extensive damage, we may need to conduct a root canal first. If not, we can anesthetize the tooth and gums surrounding it.
- The tooth set to receive the crown will be filed down on the chewing surfaces, making sure there are no sharp edges and creating a smooth surface for the crown to be bonded to.
- Conversely, if the tooth is too worn down, we will use a filling material to increase the size of the tooth.
- Next, we’ll use a dental putty to form an impression or mold of the tooth.
- These visits will be sent to the dental lab where they will custom-make your crown. We’ll also color match the tooth to your existing smile.
- Finally, we will put a temporary crown on top of the old tooth, to protect it for when the crown arrives.
Here’s what to expect on your second visit.
- The dentist will remove the old crown and check the new one to be sure it’s perfect.
- Then we’ll numb the tooth again and use a bonding agent to cement the crown on the tooth.
- We’ll check your bite to be sure the crown fits properly and give you instructions on how to care for your new tooth.
Thanks to dental crowns, you too can have a clean, bright smile. Contact us to find out how these procedures can improve your life.