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Crowns

Over time our teeth begin to weaken and become more susceptible to problems such as decay, cracks, discoloration and others. If you feel your smile isn’t what it once was, crowns can help you recover your smile. If your dentist notices that a tooth is decayed or seems weakened/cracked a crown may be necessary to make sure that there are no additional problems with the tooth. In cases like this a filling or bonding will not be sufficient.

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Crowns

A Crown is a custom made complete covering over a tooth. There are many possible reasons for which a crown may be recommended or needed. These reasons can include bruxism(teeth grinding), general decay, cracked fillings, root canals, and many others. If your tooth is beyond repair with a filling material, we may recommend that the best viable option to save the tooth is a full crown. The reasons for this type of restoration in a badly damaged tooth are durability, cosmetic appearance, and overall support of the chewing function.

Types of Crowns

If we decide that you are in need of a full crown, there are a few different options for the repair of your tooth. These options include a full porcelain crown, a porcelain fused to metal or gold crown, or a full cast metal crown. We will make the determination as to which of these options is the most appropriate for your situation after presenting the options to you for your consideration and decision. Stainless Steel Crowns (SSC) are an option particuarily for children when either there is very little remaining of tooth structure after excavation or after pulpal therapy and pulpotomy.

Procedure

When we have decided to go ahead with a full crown restoration, we will set aside 2-3 appointments for the entire process. Although the majority of crowns are completed in two visits, there is sometimes a need for a third visit to ensure a proper fit.

The procedure begins with the removal of all decay in the tooth; this is called excavation. The remaining tooth structure is then usually 're-built' with what is called a "Core" in order to provide more stable tooth structure upon which to construct your crown. Once we have removed the decay and usually have re-built the tooth, we will take an impression of the tooth. This impression will be sent to our lab where your new restoration will be crafted. While this new tooth is created, we will provide you with a temporary restoration. Remember that a temporary crown is just that - a temporary and not meant to be necessarily like the 'real crown' that is being custom made for you.

During your second visit to the office, we will proceed with the placement of your final restoration. This crown will be fitted comfortably into the mouth. We will make every effort to ensure that the new tooth feels comfortable and functions much like one of your natural teeth. The final step in the process is to cement the crown into your mouth.

Crowns can be made from porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or a full gold crown. To maintain a natural look and feel a porcelain finished crown is best, as it can be matched to the shade of your other teeth. This will allow it to blend in and appear just like one of your natural teeth.

The process of installing a crown takes 2-3 visits to the dentist. On the first visit the tooth will be reshaped by filing down the enamel so that the crown can be placed over it. You will be given a local anesthetic before this part of the procedure so that you do not experience any discomfort. Once the tooth has been reshaped, a mold will be taken of that tooth and the surrounding teeth. This mold will be sent to a dental lab so that your new crown can be made so that it fits in the spot created for it and looks the same relative to the surrounding teeth. Before leaving, your dentist will fit you with a temporary crown until your permanent crown is ready.

The crown takes about 2-3 weeks to be returned to your dentist. At this time you will have another appointment to place and fit the permanent crown. You will again have a local anesthetic to numb the area and the tooth will be placed using a cement to ensure the tooth sets in place. When you look in the mirror, you will see your old smile back. Crowns are durable and will usually last about 10-15 years. You should care for it as you would any of your other teeth with regular brushing and flossing. Call us today if you would like to learn more about how crowns can help restore your smile.

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