Dental crowns are an excellent way to restore teeth that have been damaged or are discolored. Many of them will match the natural color of your teeth and can help give you a beautiful white smile. The dental crown procedure can restore your tooth and keep it looking good for many years.
A dental crown, also called a dental cap, is a replacement part for the visible portion of the tooth. Many problems can occur that will render a tooth looking less than attractive. When completely restored with a crown, it not only restores the appearance but also the functionality of the tooth.
Replacing the crown on a tooth is one way to save and preserve it. Otherwise, there may be no option but to extract it. Some of the reasons that a dental crown is used include:
There are many choices when you want to select a dental crown. Metal-based crowns, such as those made of gold or platinum, are very durable but obvious.
There are also many types of dental crowns that are white or tooth-colored. Some of them will look more natural than other types and can enhance your smile. The various types of crowns include:
Getting a dental crown will normally require two visits to the dentist’s office. The first one is preparatory and the second is when you get the crown put on.
During the first visit, the dentist may take x-rays to ensure that the tooth root is sound. The tooth roots will be looked at as well as the bone around them to ensure that there is no damage. If a problem is detected, a root canal may be necessary first.
After being given local anesthesia, the dentist will shape the tooth so that it is ready to receive the crown. Some types of crowns require more tooth enamel to be removed than other types. In some cases, a lack of material will require that some filling material be added to build it up to a sufficient size and shape before placing the crown.
An impression will then be taken of the newly shaped tooth and surrounding teeth. Most often, the dentist will use a paste or a putty to make the mold. The mold will be sent to a lab to make the crown. In the meantime, the dentist will provide you with a temporary crown made of acrylic.
At the second visit, which will be about two weeks later, the temporary crown will be removed. The dentist will check the fit of the new crown. If any adjustments are needed, the dentist will make them and recheck the fit. When the fit is good, the crown will be permanently cemented in place.
Another way to get dental crowns is to get a same-day crown. These crowns are very durable and are made in the dentist’s office.
Once the tooth is prepared by removing some of the enamel, instead of using a mold, the dentist will use a digital scanner to get the details for the new crown. This scan is then fed to a computer where the dentist can view it in 3-D. The dentist may make some adjustments to complete the design of the new tooth. You will choose the color and shape.
When ready, the dentist will send the 3-D CAD/CAM design to a milling machine in the office. It will immediately begin making the crown and will complete it in about 15 minutes. After checking the fit, the dentist will cement it in place. The whole procedure should take about an hour.
This type of crown is called a CEREC crown. They are 100 percent porcelain and made from a solid block. The result is a tooth-colored ceramic crown. An advantage of this type of crown is that less tooth material needs to be removed.
Another material that a crown can be made of on the same day in a milling machine is zirconia. It is also made from a solid block. It is naturally white and some types may have some translucence. It is ideal for back teeth where they will be exposed to a lot of pressure.
Some crown material will last longer than other materials. It will also depend partially on how well you care for your teeth. Although crown material will not corrode, the tooth under it still can and decay can still destroy the tooth root.
On average, a porcelain crown can be expected to last 10 to 15 years. A metal crown that is made of gold or other metal can be expected to last for at least 20 years, but it could last a lifetime. A dental crown made of zirconia is considered one of the hardest materials used in dentistry. It can endure extreme pressure, making it the ideal material for back teeth. They are also more resistant to staining than other materials.
If you have damaged teeth and need a dental crown procedure, Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board Certified Periodontist, can help you. He provides dental crowns and same-day crowns in his Champion Dental office in Farmers Branch, TX. Most dental insurance plans are accepted. To set up a consultation or to get more information about the tooth crown procedure, you can contact his office at (214) 747-0763.