Dental crowns are very important when it comes protecting damaged or heavily worn teeth. It’s a simple procedure that only requires two short dental visits so you can once again feel good about your smile, inside and out.
Knowing where, when, and how to go about getting a dental crown can be a daunting or overwhelming task. This article is intended to alleviate this stress and educate you all about the Dental Crown procedure.
What Is a Dental Crown?
A crown consists of a small cap, shaped like a tooth, that re-enforces breaking or weakening teeth, improves the cosmetic appearance of chipped or damaged teeth, and keeps them looking consistent and healthy.
The crown, which will be custom-made for you, fits directly over the tooth, encasing it up to the gum line to protect as much of the surface area as possible and keep appearances consistent.
Crowns (sometimes referred to as caps) are usually recommended in place of fillings when it comes to prominently-positioned, damaged teeth, those with cracks, or when a tooth is very worn. Unlike fillings, which can lead to more cracks and finally break the tooth and render it irreparable, tooth crowns provide more protection and are able to be colored to blend in with your smile.
What Are the Different Types of Crowns?
There are several different types of Crowns, and each situation requiring a cap is unique. At least 4 options are available, depending on your needs. These include:
- Ceramic: Porcelain-Based, these types of tooth crowns typically are the most realistic in appearance and are preferred for re-enforcing and restoring highly visible teeth to keep your smile consistent.
- Porcelain (Fused to Metal): A porcelain crown structure fused to a metal base, making a virtually indestructible cap that’s long-lasting.
- Gold Alloy: Made of a blend of gold, copper, and other metals, an alloy tooth crown creates a stronger bond to the tooth and won’t further damage or wear away a tooth. This crown type doesn’t crack and won’t come loose.
- Base Metal Alloy: A blend of non-noble metals, it’s used for teeth that are very worn down and requires the least amount of preparation for placing the cap. Very strong and highly resistant to any corrosion.
- Acrylic Resin: Used to make temporary crowns. Quick and easy to place and remove.
When Do You Need a Dental Crown?
Fillings can be used for tiny cavities or cracks, but crowns are the best option for any tooth that displays symptoms of:
- Severe wear
In certain situations, crowns are even used to help realign teeth to prevent discomfort and unnecessary wear. If a tooth only requires slight modification, dental bonding may be a good first option.
After determining the type of tooth crown best-suited to your needs, it’s time to make an appointment. Placing a crown only takes two brief dental visits and is usually a quick, easy procedure.
At the first appointment, your tooth is prepared for the crown with cleaning and a quick removal of any residual decay. Next, the tooth is shaped so the cap fits smoothly. The final step requires taking an impression of your tooth so that your crown will fit like a glove and to provide the most coverage and best appearance. Fabricating a custom cap generally takes about 1-2 weeks, so you’ll be fitted with a temporary crown made of acrylic resin to protect the tooth during that period.
Once you’re in the chair for a second visit, your temp cap and any residual glue will be gently removed. Before cementing, the permanent crown will need fitting to ensure proper bite and appearance, so the crown will be seated on your tooth and you and your dentist will determine its fit and what might need adjustment.
Next, the appearance must be checked. If your crown is positioned in a highly visible area of your mouth, this is especially important. Don’t hold back when it comes to questions and comments. Once the crown is cemented, color and even some types of shape modifications can’t be made.
After you’ve both agreed the crown is right, it’s ready for permanent placement. The custom crown is glued securely into place and any excess glue that extrudes from beneath the crown will be cleaned or scraped away.
Once your crown is set and you’re free to go, keep in mind that going easy on your crown for the first few days is recommended to give the cement time to cure. Don’t eat anything hard or particularly sticky, and if local anesthetic was applied, allow numbness to fade before chewing, as you could bite your lip or cheek by mistake.
Need a Dental Crown? Contact Us Today!
Getting a dental crown helps preserve the life and look of your teeth, and is a simple and easy way to ensure you feel good about your smile, inside and out. Fortunately, Dr. David Evans and his team are experts in the dental crown procedure and have been serving the Boulder area of Colorado for many years with their customer service and dental expertise. They are here to guide you through the process of understanding the right type of dental crown for you and when to get one. Once you’ve determined which type of crown is right for you, you can make an appointment with Dr. Evans office to start your custom crown process.