A crown is a permanent covering that fits over an original tooth that is either decayed, damaged or cracked. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, acrylic resin or a mix of these materials. Porcelain generally has the most natural appearance.
The illustration above indicates the different steps to restore a tooth:
* A tooth presents with a large cavity or broken portion of tooth structure. This tooth is vulnerable to further decay and fracture.
* The dentist will ‘prepare’ or shape the tooth for a crown. In preparing the tooth, the dentist will incorporate resistance and retention features in order for the crown to stay in place. These features vary in every tooth and are determined by the type of bite you have. An impression of the prepared tooth is taken and sent to a dental laboratory for processing.
* The crown is then fabricated in the dental laboratory with instruction from the dentist such as type of crown and shade or color of the tooth. The crown is then cemented in place by the dentist. A temporary crown is placed while the laboratory is constructing the crown.
Who is a candidate for Tooth Crowns?
Grinding your teeth, an improper bite, age, fillings and tooth decay can all be contributing factors in the wearing down, cracking or breakage of your teeth. Dental crowns cover the entire visible surface of your affected tooth and add strength, durability and tooth stability.
In other instances, crowns are used to replace a actual missing tooth. These crowns are anchored to the teeth on either side, with a bridge section connecting the two crowns. Instead of bridges, single tooth dental implants may be used that eliminate the need for supporting the crowns.
Will my dental crown look and feel natural?
A porcelain dental crown looks and feels exactly like a real tooth, so nobody, including you, should be able to tell the difference. If anything, your new dental crown will enhance the look of your smile.
Dental crowns offer a big advantage over dental fillings because they are fabricated “away from the mouth”. As the dental crown is made in the dental laboratory, the technician can visualize and examine all aspects of bite and jaw movements, from a variety of angles, and sculpt the dental crown for a perfect anatomy. This ensures a great deal of accuracy for comfort and fit.