Sometimes also referred to as a cap, crowns are used by our team here at Reich Dental Center to help restore the appearance and function of a damaged tooth. It is often the best option where a filling cannot be an effective solution and is often performed on less visible teeth.
Many tooth problems can be fixed using crowns, including severely decayed, broken, and discolored teeth. It can also be used to protect a restored tooth after having had a root canal procedure. Many different materials can be used to prepare crowns. The choice of material will often depend on such factors as cost, appearance, location of the tooth, and your occlusion.
Types of Crown Materials
Metal options such as gold alloys include such choices as platinum, nickel, and copper. These combinations make the metal alloys stronger and allow for thinner construction of the crown. Titanium is another popular metal choice that is valued for its high biocompatibility and durability.
Ceramic crowns are popularly used in the front-facing teeth because of their ability to mimic the appearance of natural teeth. There is also hybrid porcelain fused to metal options that tend to bond better and are more long-lasting. The major downside to ceramic options is that though they are durable, they do tend to aggravate the opposing teeth. Where the patients may be suffering a condition like teeth grinding, this option may not be ideal.
In choosing the material, we will consider the factors mentioned and your personal preference. Most crowns can last anywhere between 7 years and a lifetime. Removal or replacement is often caused not so much by damage to the crown itself, but rather tooth decay happening underneath.
The Crowning Procedure
Crowning usually takes place over two sessions. The first session will be about determining if crowns are your best option, making a choice of the material that should be used, and preparing the tooth for the later procedure. Tooth cleaning is usually done during preparation to remove any decayed material and ensure no bacteria are trapped underneath to continue causing damage. If the damage is extensive, our dentist may need to put in a post and core foundation to support the crown.
Once cleaned, we may need to file down some of the natural tooth enamel to provide space to accommodate the crown. This may be avoided with certain choices of material. Metal crowns are strong and can be customized to very thin specifications that do not compromise on strength.
Once the tooth is ready, we then take an impression or digital scan of the tooth and the surface of the opposite tooth. This will be used in the lab to create a fitted crown. This construction can take just two weeks, during which we will have provided a temporary plastic crown held in place with temporary cement. This weaker cement allows for easier removal of the temporary crown when you come in for the permanent one.
On your second visit, our dentist will take out the temporary crown, test the positioning of the permanent crown before permanently bonding it in its correct place. We may perform some polishing work to match it to neighboring teeth.
If you do have damaged teeth, do not allow yourself to keep suffering when a crown may be just the solution you need. Contact us at Reich Dental Center at (770) 742-8454 today and let us guide you to getting back a perfect smile.