Dental crowns provide an ideal restoration treatment for teeth that are broken or weakened by a large filling or too much decay. The crown fits perfectly with the core of the tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape and contour of the natural tooth.
Why would I need a dental crown?
There are several instances where a dental crown can be used, including:
- Repair a weakened tooth due to a large filling.
- Improve the appearance of the tooth if you have discolored filings.
- Protect root filling
- Repair a damaged tooth after an accident or trauma.
- Hold the bridge or dentures securely in place.
What are the crowns made of?
Crowns can be made of a variety of materials, including the following:
- Porcelain bonded with precious metals; this is the combination used to make most crowns. A precious metal base is created, and then porcelain is layered on top.
- Porcelain and Composite resin materials; this combination can sometimes look more natural.
- Precious metals (gold and palladium); These crowns are strong and durable but are usually used at the back of the mouth, where they are not visible.
How is a tooth prepared for a crown?
The dentist will prepare the tooth to fit with the shape of the crown. This procedure will involve removing most of the outer surface, leaving a strong inner core. The amount of tooth removed will be the same as the thickness of the crown to be attached. After forming the tooth, the dentist will make a mold of the prepared tooth, one of the opposite jaw, and possibly another to mark the way your teeth bite together. The dentist sends the molds to a dental technician, along with any other instructions needed to make the crown.
Will the crown be noticeable?
The dentist will make sure that the crown matches your other teeth and will record the shade of the adjacent teeth, to make sure the color looks as natural as possible and matches the surrounding teeth. A temporary crown, usually made of plastic, will be fitted at the end of the first appointment and will remain until the permanent crown is ready. These temporary crowns may be more noticeable, but they are only a temporary measure.
How long does the treatment take?
A minimum of two visits is required, the first for preparation, impression, and fitting the temporary crown, and the second visit is for placing the permanent crown.
Is it painful to have a tooth prepared for a crown?
No. A local anesthetic is used, and the preparation should not differ from that of a filler. If the tooth does not have a nerve end, the dentist will request a post crown to be prepared and may not use local anesthesia.
What is a post crown?
Post crowns are used when a tooth has been root-filled. The dentist drills the weakened tooth crown at the gum level and makes a two-ended post to fit the root canal. One end of the post is secured in the root canal, while the other end securely holds the crown in place.