Dental Crowns Protect Teeth and Restore Functionality
A dental crown helps to preserve the functionality of damaged teeth, protect a cracked tooth, or restore functionality of a tooth with excessive decay. A dental crown does this by encasing the tooth requiring a crown with a custom-designed material.
A tooth that has extensive decay or has undergone a root canal will be a candidate for a dental crown as the damage is too extensive for veneers, direct composite bonding or other conservative treatments. A dental crown can either be used to restore a damaged tooth or as a lifelike tooth replacement.
The dental crown procedure involves the following steps:
- First, the dentist must obtain images or impressions of the tooth or teeth that are to be crowned in order to have an accurate crown made that will fit perfectly with the surrounding teeth. This is usually done in a dental laboratory, but can be performed at the dentist’s office, depending on their capabilities. A fitted temporary crown can be created during this step to temporarily protect the tooth after it has been prepared and before the actual crown is ready.
- Once the laboratory has completed the crown, it is sent back to the dentist and cemented or adhesively bonded to the tooth once the temporary crown is removed.
With the recent development of CAD/CAM dental technology, the dental crown procedure can be cut to one visit. This technology allows the dentist to obtain a 3-D image of the teeth and then create the restoration by milling a ceramic block using the data from the 3-D image. The crown is prepared while the patient is in the chair, the original tooth is prepared and the crown is put in place, all in on visit to your Denver dentist’s office. This is, however, a new technology and therefore not available at all dentist offices.
With the dental crown in place it should be treated as a normal tooth; brushing two times a day and flossing around the dental crown once a day. With a dental crown avoid chewing hard objects like fingernails. One should also avoid hard candies and foods as they can wear away the dental crown and cause a bad bite or a chip in the crown. Someone who habitually clenches or grinds their teeth may benefit from wearing a night-time mouth guard to protect the dental crown from wear.
The three most common choices for restorative materials for full coverage crowns are:
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal– A strong esthetic restorative material, over time the porcelain-fused-metal crowns may show the underlying metal at the gum line over time.
- All-ceramic (all porcelain) – The most popular restorative material today, all-ceramic uses either zirconia or aluminous materials to create natural looking crowns. As technology advances, all-ceramic materials continue to become stronger and more durable.
- Gold– As the price of gold continues to rise, the popularity of gold crowns declines, also because it is not as esthetically pleasing as other types of restoration material. They are most often used for teeth located in the back of the mouth (such as molars), because they are harder to be seen there and the durability of gold is similar to that found in molars.
For further information please contact Cosmetic Dentistry of Colorado Today