A dental crown is a restorative dentistry
treatment that is placed over a tooth to
improve strength, shape or appearance.
Dental crowns, also called "caps," are
also used as the final restoration for
dental implants, serving as the
replacement for the artificial tooth.
Although there are several different
materials that can be used for dental
crowns, most cosmetic dentists recommend all-porcelain dental crowns because they provide the most natural-looking restorations as they closely resemble the color and texture of natural teeth.
When Are Dental Crowns Used?
Dental crowns are used when more conservative dental restorations cannot be used to improve the strength or appearance of a damaged tooth. Your dentist will determine what procedure you are eligible for based on your existing dental health and the aesthetic and functional benefits of a restorative dentistry treatment. The following are common reasons dental crowns are used to restore teeth:
To strengthen and improve the appearance and size of a tooth that has been treated for a root canal
To restore a broken or cracked tooth
To cover a misshapen tooth
To cover a dental implant
To hold a dental bridge or partial dentures in place
Dental Crown Procedure
Before it is determined that a patient requires a dental crown to restore their tooth, their dentist will perform a thorough evaluation of their dental health to determine if they would benefit from a less invasive procedure. Once it is decided that a dental crown will be used to restore a tooth, the first step is to prepare the tooth to receive the crown and the second step is to place it.
Traditional Dental Crown Procedure
To determine the integrity of the receiving tooth, your dentist will first take x-rays to examine the roots of the tooth as well as the surrounding bone. If extensive decay exists or the tooth's pulp is infected, a root canal treatment may be necessary before the dental crown is placed.
After x-rays are taken, the tooth is prepared by reducing tooth structure to make room for the crown. The amount of tooth structure the dentist removes depends on the extent of damage and the material being used, either gold or porcelain. After the tooth is reshaped, an impression of the tooth will be made to ensure the restoration is functional and ensures a proper bite. The impression is then sent to a lab and will be matched to the shade of the existing teeth. A temporary crown is placed until the permanent crown is sent back from the lab and then is removed so that the permanent crown can be cemented into place on the next visit. The new restoration will be checked for color, fit and aesthetics to ensure proper dental health and function.
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