Dental crowns or "caps" can be used to restore teeth both functionally and aesthetically. Crowns are often used to restore teeth that are: broken, worn out, cracked, chipped, weakened, or discolored. A crown is a restoration that covers all surfaces of a tooth. Because they can be fabricated from tooth-colored ceramic, crowns can be made to blend in with the rest of your smile.
Why choose dental crowns?
- Crowns are highly durable and can offer excellent wear resistance.
- Crowns are simple restorations. They can be fabricated in a short period of time and then cemented/bonded to a tooth using strong dental adhesives.
- Crowns help restore the tooth's normal function.
- Crowns usually cover the entire tooth above the gum line. With continued oral hygiene, crowns can help to prevent the entry of harmful microbes from getting inside the restored tooth.
- Crowns made from tooth-colored ceramic material can be very difficult to distinguish from adjoining natural teeth.
How is a tooth prepped for a crown?
After a tooth has been deemed an acceptable candidate for a crown, an appointment for the crown prep will be scheduled. During this appointment, the tooth will be numbed, and a conservative amount of the outer layer of the tooth will be removed to make room for the crown. If a tooth has extensive wear, cracks, decay, or a missing structure, a procedure called a "Build-Up" is often needed to help fill in the missing tooth structure. A final impression of the prepped tooth is obtained and sent to a specialized dental lab to fabricate the final crown. The prepped tooth will then be fitted with a temporary crown to protect it and hold the space until the final crown is cemented.
How is a crown cemented?
Once the final crown returns from the dental lab, it needs to be cemented onto the prepared tooth. The temporary crown is removed, and both the prepared tooth and the final crown are cleaned. The final crown is seated to determine fit, form, function, and esthetics. Minor adjustments may be needed at this stage. After the seating is deemed acceptable, specialized cement is applied to the inside of the final crown, which is then seated onto the prepared tooth. The cement sets up in a matter of minutes, and the excess is quickly cleaned off. A final inspection is conducted, and if everything looks and feels satisfactory, the patient is dismissed, and the tooth is ready for function.