What is a Dental Crown?
A crown restoration in dentistry refers to a procedure to return your tooth back into a normal size and shape. It’s purpose is to protect the tooth like a hat fits on a head so that it will not split like a piece of wood and become hopeless. The crown restores not only form but also function.
Why Do I Need A Crown?
- To provide support for a broken down tooth or one that has a large filling.
- To attach many teeth together to make a bridge to replace missing teeth.
- To cover discolored, misshaped or misaligned teeth
- To cover a dental implant.
What are crowns made of today?
When choosing the most suitable material for a patient’s crown we must consider a few factors. It is important when selecting material for a crown to understand the purpose of the crown. Some crowns function as protectors for the back teeth to prevent them from breaking or wearing do to the forces created in the back of the mouth. For this type of situation high strength porcelain, zirconia or gold are all viable options for crown selection. However, if the case involves the front teeth and the goal is for the crown to look as natural as possible then we select porcelain restorations fabricated by an experienced dental laboratory.
Steps for Crown Restoration
1. The tooth is prepared by removing tooth structure from the top of the tooth and some from 360 degrees around the sides. After the tooth is prepared and any remaining filling material is removed to verify the tooth is healthy without cracks and decay, a bonded foundation is placed. A putty impression is taken of the prepared tooth to allow the dental laboratory to fabricate your custom crown restoration. A pre-permanent crown(temporary crown) is placed for a few weeks while the crown is being made. Temporaries can help you evaluate the length, shape and color of your teeth if the front teeth are involved in receive crown restorations. This becomes somewhat of a trial smile to make sure you are happy with the changes before the finals are permanently placed.
After My Crown is Done
The tooth should feel comfortable when you chew and floss properly with the adjacent teeth. The gum tissue should have a positive response to the new crown and begin to form a gasket like seal. Proper maintenance including daily flossing and brushing is critical for the success of the crown.
How Long do Crowns Last?
This must take in to account many factors including home care, frequency of dental exams, biting and grinding forces and material selected to name a few. Dr Martin checks patients mouths everyday that his father placed crowns in their mouth forty to even fifty years ago. Not only are these crowns still esthetic and functional, but look like they were placed in the mouth yesterday!