Crowns are strong cosmetic restorations placed over the natural tooth base to strengthen, protect the tooth's structure, and improve its shape and appearance. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or partially damaged by tooth decay. Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when there is insufficient tooth strength remaining to hold a filling. When completed, the crown covers all of the visible tooth above the gum line.
Our dentist will begin by preparing and shaping the tooth into a solid base for the crown. Next, impressions will be taken which are used to custom design a permanent crown for you. Unlike fillings which apply the restorative material directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated in a lab. Your crown is created from your unique tooth impression which allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is then custom sculpted just for you so that your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed.
While the permament crown is being made, an attractive temporary crown is lightly cemented over the prepared tooth. The temporary crown is made of acrylic and will function normally. However, it is important to avoid eating hard and sticky foods to prevent the temporary crown from breaking or coming off.
At the next visit (in about two weeks), the temporary crown is removed and the final crown is permanently cemented into place to fully cover the portion of your tooth above the gum line. The crown becomes the new outer surface of your tooth. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or a combination of the two. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.
It will be very important for you to continue excellent oral hygiene around your new crown by brushing and flossing daily. Your crown should provide you with years of comfort, function and a beautiful appearance.