Over time, our teeth begin to weaken and become more susceptible to problems such as decay, cracks, or discoloration. Crowns are used to renew the appearance and function of a tooth. Crowns are not limited to just replacing the natural tooth but can be designed to create an even better aesthetic appearance.
Other reasons for needing a dental crown include:
• To protect a weak tooth from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth.
• To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there is not a sufficient amount of tooth structure remaining.
• To cover severely discolored teeth.
• To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down.
Also, they are often used in conjunction with root canal therapy, dental implants, or as an anchor for a bridge.
Crowns are typically made from porcelain in order to maintain strength and a natural appearance. The process of placing a crown may take 1-2 office visits.
The procedure of receiving a crown is as follows:
- X-rays will be taken to check the roots of the tooth receiving the crown. If the tooth has extensive decay or there is a risk of infection, a root canal treatment may be performed first.
- Anesthesia is used to numb the area to eliminate pain. The tooth that is receiving the crown will be filed down to make room for the crown.
- Your dentist will make an impression of the tooth using paste or putty. These impressions are sent to the lab where the crown will be manufactured.
- A temporary crown is placed to cover and protect the prepared tooth while the crown is being made.
- Once your permanent crown arrives, your temporary crown will be removed and your permanent crown will be placed over your tooth to ensure the right fit and color.
- If the permanent crown is acceptable, an anesthetic will be used to numb the tooth and the crown is permanently cemented in place.
Once treatment is complete, continue to practice proper at-home care and keep regular office visits to help your crown last many years. Much like your natural teeth, crowns require routine brushing and flossing.