Also known as a "cap", a crown is used to restore badly broken teeth, or teeth with very large fillings that would prone to fracture. The crown acts like a "thimble" to prevent the fracture of the tooth.
Crowns may be gold, porcelain or when strength and appearance are required porcelain fused to metal frameworks.
Whenever a tooth has decayed, cracked or chipped beyond a point where there is no longer enough tooth structure left to support a filling... a Crown may be necessary. When most people think of a crown, they often think of a large gold nugget on a molar.
But with today’s modern dental techniques, crowns may also be covered with a natural tooth colored porcelain, and can be made virtually undetectable. Let’s see how it’s done.
Crowns are custom made in the dental laboratory to exacting specifications by skilled technicians... and since the process often requires more than 160 steps before a crown is complete, here’s a streamlined look at this common dental procedure.
First, your natural tooth is prepared for the crown by reducing the size and shape of your existing tooth. This step is necessary to remove any decay or cracks that may be causing sensitivity, and to make room for the finished crown. A shoulder, collar or grooves may also be sculpted to add retention.
Next, impressions are taken so that a crown will be custom made for you. The crown fabricated in the dental laboratory is truly custom it will not fit anyone else mouth, or even any other tooth in your mouth… it’s a one of a kind. While your crown is being made at the dental laboratory a temporary crown is placed.
About two weeks later, at a second appointment, the temporary crown is removed, and your natural tooth is cleaned. The new custom crown is adjusted, then specially bonded to your natural tooth. This crown will feel and function just like your natural tooth; plus, it will help to strengthen your tooth by protecting it from the forces exerted while chewing.
Whether you choose a traditional gold crown, a gold and porcelain crown, or a crown made entirely of porcelain, the result is better function, the ability to chew with confidence, and most importantly, the retention and protection of your natural tooth structure for as long as possible.
That last point is so important. Your dentist will always provide the options available to prolong the use of your natural teeth. Proper function is a must, but now we can create a beautiful cosmetic result at the same time. Your friends and family probably won’t know you’ve had any dental work done… unless you tell them.