Over the course of our lifetimes, our teeth do a lot of work. Digestion begins in the mouth with the chewing of our food. Proper chewing function is therefore an important part of our digestive health. Human jaws are surprisingly strong and our teeth handle a lot of force. Over time, teeth may develop cracks or get tooth decay. Over the course of our lives, our teeth may need several repairs (fillings). Root canal therapy, cracks and extensive repair work are common reasons that crowns are recommended. If a crown has been recommended for you, here are some things you should know.
A dental crown is a custom made cap in the shape of a tooth and is placed over the weakened tooth for strength and protection. Dental crown placement usually requires two appointments. At the first appointment, the tooth that is being treated will be checked for cavities (placing a crown over a tooth with decay would be like building a brand new house on a leaky, cracked foundation) and repaired if needed and the tooth is reduced by the dentist. This reduction is just enough to allow for the thickness of the crown to be placed. An impression is taken and sent to a dental laboratory for the crown to be fabricated by skilled teams of technicians. At this first appointment, we fabricate a temporary crown from a resin material to cover and protect your tooth until the permanent crown is placed.
The second appointment is usually two weeks after the initial appointment. At this appointment, the temporary crown is removed and the permanent crown is checked for fit, color and function. We may take an x-ray at this appointment to check the areas of the crown where we can’t see or feel directly to ensure a quality fit. If everything is to our satisfaction and yours, we will then cement the crown with a very strong and durable dental cement.
There are many different types of dental crowns available in the market which are recommended depending upon the circumstance. The materials which are commonly used for making permanent caps are metal, ceramic, and porcelain-fused-to-metal.
- Porcelain fused to metal crowns: are popular because they can be color matched to your teeth and they are very strong.
- Porcelain or ceramic crowns: require less overall tooth reduction than porcelain fused to metal and offer very good strength and color characteristics.
- Gold crowns: are made of a metal alloy that contains gold. These crowns are best suited for back teeth because of their distinctive gold color. These crowns are very strong, provide long-lasting protection. The also require the least reduction of the tooth, so it is often recommended for teeth that already have a lot of wear due to grinding.
When a crown is recommended for you we can give you a quote or send a predetermination to your dental insurance. Our dentists and dental hygiene staff will be happy to answer any further questions you may have. See you soon!