A dental crown is a laboratory fabricated prosthetic used to protect the remaining natural tooth structure. A crown essentially covers a tooth helping to hold it together.
There are many reasons for needing a crown. Crown’s can be used to repair cracked or broken teeth, teeth that have a large existing fillings, and teeth that have been endodontically treated (root canaled).
A crown is completed over 2 appointments (the prep and the insert) about 2 weeks apart.
The first appointment called the ‘Crown Prep’, which prepares the tooth. At this appointment, natural tooth structure is reduced from the circumference of the tooth to allow room for the crown. Our dentists express great care and attention to detail when preparing the tooth because getting a good fit is very important to function and health. When the preparation is done an impression is taken of the area. This impression is very important because it is what the dental lab will use to custom cast or digitally design your crown, a temporary crown is then made of an acrylic material so you will leave the office the way you did when you first arrived, with a tooth intact!
The second appointment or ‘Crown Insert’, is usually about 30-40 minutes and doesn’t always require dental anesthetic or freezing. The temporary crown is removed and your natural prepared tooth is cleaned. Our dentist will place your new crown that has been custom made by a local dental lab. We check the fit to make sure that you can easily clean with floss in and around your new crown. If you and the dentist are happy with the shade, bite, and overall look of the crown, then we will permanently insert the crown with dental cement.
Crowns can be made from a few different materials, depending on your needs from a function and aesthetic standpoint. Two of the most common materials used are ceramic and gold.
All Ceramic or Porcelain crowns are made in two ways. One being all ceramic and has become the most beneficial crown material to blend strength, longevity, and aesthetics while conserving tooth structure.
An alternative to an all ceramic crown is a kind that has an overlay structure of tooth coloured porcelain over an underlying base, which is cast in a very strong gold and metal alloy material.
An all ceramic crown is best for areas that are visible in your smile line, areas that are towards the front of the mouth or areas that are visible when you smile. All ceramic crowns are naturally unnoticeable and blend in with your natural teeth.
Gold crowns are made from a high or noble allow material (precious or semi-precious metals). A gold crown allows for the strength needed to stand up to strong biting forces at the back teeth, yet is also gentle to the surrounding tissue and opposing teeth. Gold is generally only used in the posterior areas of the mouth where it is not visible. We do get the odd request for a ‘Pirate tooth’, and we are more than happy to oblige!
Your crown will require no extra care. Just brush and floss as you usually would with all your natural teeth, and see your dental hygienist for your routine oral hygiene appointments.