What is a dental crown? Why do I need one? What is the process of a crown? What kinds are there? All good questions we will address in this week’s Dental Word of the Week!
A crown is a tooth shaped “cap” cemented onto a prepared tooth to restore the shape, size, strength, and function of a tooth. These terms can be used interchangeably.
A crown is needed when a tooth has too much tooth structure missing, be it from decay or fracture, to hold a filling that will withstand the everyday chewing forces. It might also be needed after a tooth has had a root canal as root canal teeth become brittle over time. Crowns can also be done for cosmetic reasons when a person wants to close gaps or change the shape of their smile. We try to be conservative and would be glad to answer any questions you have about why a crown is recommended.
The process of a crown is simple. Once you are numb, the tooth is reduced in size and then shaped to make room for the permanent crown. An impression is taken and a temporary crown placed until the lab makes your custom fit crown. Then you return and have the permanent crown cemented into place. Now it will look and function like a regular tooth. You can chew all the steak you want, but we still wouldn’t recommend chewing on ice!
A crown can be made of several materials. Stainless steel crowns are the least expensive as they are not a custom fit and considered to be a temporary situation. All metal of either non-precious (silver colored) or precious (gold) are a lab made custom fit crown. Porcelain crowns are the most common because of aesthetics; they are tooth colored to match your teeth and durable for many years of use. All porcelain or porcelain over metal are both lab made and custom fit crowns.
Contact us today for a free consultation if you have questions about your treatment options. Getting a dental crown will not make you royalty, but we can make you feel like royalty in the process!