Crowns (Caps)

A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface, restoring it to its original shape and size.  A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.

Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain (tooth colored crown) are the most popular.  They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced.  Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color of your teeth, giving you a long-lasting, beautiful smile.

Porcelain and gold have long been the traditional materials used for composing crowns. Porcelain crowns can give a more natural look but can also be prone to chipping. Gold crowns have high lab costs, have an unsightly appearance and can produce negative allergic reactions.

Over the past decade, more dentists and dental laboratories are using crowns made of zirconium. Zirconium is a strong type of crystal that has numerous favorable qualities. It is known for being long-lasting and nearly indestructible. Besides its strength and durability, zirconium is also compatible with the human body, making its use popular in the medical field, not just in dentistry. Some of the major benefits of using zirconia include an increase in biocompatibility (fewer chances of infections, complications, discomfort, and allergic reactions), increased durability over porcelain, more conservative (due to the strength of the material, less original tooth structure is required to be removed), no usage of metal materials, and are aesthetically pleasing.

The benefits of each type of material will be explained and your dentist will give you their recommendation based on the individual circumstance.

Reasons for crowns:

  • Broken or fractured teeth.
  • Cosmetic enhancement.
  • Decayed teeth.
  • Fractured fillings.
  • Large fillings.
  • Tooth has a root canal.

What does getting a crown involve?

A crown procedure usually requires two appointments.  Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown.  A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown that will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory.

While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown. Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly.

At your second appointment, your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.

You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.

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