Strengthen Your Tooth and Improve its Appearance with a Crown
If you have a weak or broken tooth, you can restore it to its normal size, shape and function with a crown. Crowns are “indirect restorations” that can be used to attach a bridge, prevent brittle or weak teeth from breaking, or restore a tooth that is already broken. A crown covers a tooth and is also a way to cover teeth that are discolored, badly shaped or out of position. Made of gold and/or porcelain, crowns are also used to cover implants.
The Dental Crown Procedure
Crowns typically require two or more visits. At the first visit, we prepare the tooth and make an impression or a digital image of it. The first visit of the dental crown procedure also involves removing enough of the natural tooth so that a crown that is the size and shape of the original tooth can fit comfortably over it. The tooth is covered with a temporary crown. The impression is then sent to a laboratory where the permanent crown is fabricated. At the next visit, the crown is bonded over the prepared tooth, and is adjusted as needed for fit, comfort and bite.
Choice of Crown Material
One of the steps in the dental crown procedure is to determine what material is most appropriate for the crown in question. Depending on the location of the tooth, the patient’s bite, the health of the gum and bone surrounding the tooth, and whether the tooth directly above or below it is natural or crowned, the crown material may be gold, porcelain fused to gold, or an all-ceramic crown. Because we believe in involving patients in their own dental care and decisions, these options are always reviewed with our patients before a final choice is made.
Gold is the strongest material for a crown and recommended if there is a strong bite, if it is a back grinding tooth – such as a molar – or if the tooth opposing the one to be crowned is a natural tooth. Gold is not only the strongest material but is also the gentlest on the gums and is usually the material of choice if the tooth is not visible. Porcelain fused to gold is usually selected when the tooth is going to show, but porcelain does run the risk of fracture, particularly in cases where the patient grinds his or her teeth. For the front-most teeth, all-ceramic crowns are usually chosen for appearance’s sake, because they are the most natural-looking in terms of color, thickness and light refractivity.
During your dental crown procedure, we will share our analysis with you, take into account your own preference, budgetary considerations and lifestyle choices and together we will decide on the best option for your crown.