Dental crowns are one of the most versatile tools that a dentist uses, performing multiple roles in both general and cosmetic dentistry. A crown does not always replace a tooth, like dentures, but generally encapsulates a tooth. When teeth suffer severe tooth decay or other problems, they may no longer resemble a tooth or be able to function as normal, requiring dental crowns to restore them.
At Serene Dental Care, we discuss all options with you before any treatment, ensuring you can always make informed decisions and receive the best possible patient care.
Crowns frequently provide support for the tooth on which they are installed or even for surrounding teeth, but that is not the only reason a dentist uses them:
- Root Canals: After performing a root canal procedure, there may be little to no viable tooth remaining. A crown is frequently used in order prevent infection of the exposed root canal.
- Dental Implants: A dental implant is a small screw placed directly into the jawbone in order to support a new tooth, generally a crown.
- Dental Bridges: Traditional bridges are comprised of one or two dental crowns with a pontic (artificial tooth) between them. These rely on the support of adjacent teeth in order to remain functional and stationary. If teeth next to the bridge are decayed, or are otherwise unable to fulfill the demands of bridgework, they may be replaced with a crown as well.
- Restore Broken or Decayed Teeth: In order to restore the functionality of teeth, a crown may need to be placed over a tooth. Also, when a tooth requires a filling, some of the tooth may need to be removed in order to allow for filling installation. If the filling is large and the remaining tooth cannot support it, a crown may be placed on top.
- Esthetic Purposes: Whether chipped, discolored or otherwise, some teeth may not be pleasing to the eye. A crown can restore a more pleasing smiling. Sometimes, teeth are too stained to respond to teeth whitening procedures, requiring veneers, bonding or even a crown to create a whiter appearance.
Your Serene Dental Care dentist will perform an initial exam to diagnose any dental problems that may be present. If you need a crown, X-rays will be taken to examine the area. Since crowns are used for many reasons, the exact purpose for your crown may vary.
Crowns are made of a variety of materials, such as stainless, gold alloy, porcelain fused with metal, resin and more. These vary in price, among other factors. Your dentist will discuss your options with you prior to performing any dental crown procedures.
Following the initial diagnosis, the tooth in need of a crown needs to be shaped in order to create the most effective area upon which it can be installed, generally requiring removal of some of the tooth. A mold is then taken of the area and sent to a laboratory, where the customized crown is made. It can take between one to three weeks for the crown to be returned.
On your next visit, the dentist will place the crown in your mouth and check that it functions properly and does not affect the shape of your bite. If everything is in order, the crown is cemented in place.
If you have any questions about dental crowns, or would like to schedule a dental exam to find out if you need one, please contact Serene Dental Care today.