Dental crowns are common restorations prescribed by dentists. They are tooth-shaped “caps” that cover and support the tooth. Oftentimes, patients are unclear about the function of a crown and what the procedure entails. It is important to understand why you need a crown and how it will improve your occlusion and smile.
Large broken-down fillings and fractured teeth are the most common reasons why a dental crown is needed. After removing an existing filling and then cleaning out the decay, the remaining tooth structure must be more than 60% to hold a long-lasting composite restoration. If there is not enough tooth structure, a crown is indicated. Attempting to restore a tooth in these situations with a standard filling will eventually lead to failure. In addition, a tooth that is painful to biting with fracture lines need to be treated with a crown. “Capping” the tooth protects the natural tooth structure underneath from fracturing.
Similarly, teeth treated with root canals need additional support. Gaining access to the root canal space requires removing tooth structure that weakens the tooth. A crown seals out bacteria from the canal space and prevents breakage.
Sometimes, crowns are used to change the size, shape and color of a tooth. Full-coverage crowns, partial crowns, or veneers can close diastemas (spaces) between teeth. Intrinsic tooth discoloration from medications or trauma can also be corrected with crowns. Worn-down, chipped teeth can be transformed. Here, the art of dentistry truly comes to life. We work closely with lab techs and ceramicists to perfect the contours and shades that create an all-natural, esthetically pleasing smile.
Crowns require two appointments for completion. At the first visit, the tooth is prepared by removing old fillings and decay. A new filling can be placed to fill in the “pot-holes” so that the crown has a solid, smooth surface to rest on. Next, the tooth is shaped so that there is enough room for a porcelain crown to cover it. At this point, an impression (mold) of the mouth is made which records the tooth’s dimensions for the lab to fabricate the final crown. It takes about two weeks for the finished crown to processed and milled.
Between visits, your tooth will have a temporary crown that saves the space for the final crown. It covers the tooth to prevent sensitivity and protects it. It is cemented with temporary cement so that it will be easier to remove at the next visit. During this time, a softer diet is recommended, nothing too chewy or hard that can cause the temporary to break or come off. If something does happen, you should see your dentist as soon as possible.
At the second visit, the crown will be fitted and adjusted into your occlusion. After polishing, and ensuring a great shade match, the porcelain crown is cemented permanently.
Here at Go Dental - Valencia Dentist, you can rest assured that we are using the best materials for your crown. We have eliminated traditional metals from the practice and utilize lithium disilicate ceramics and zirconia, which are very aesthetic and long-lasting materials. We stand behind our crowns and hope that by understanding the process better, you can feel comfortable choosing us as your provider.