What are Dental Crowns?
A dental crown is a fixed prosthetic device that covers a damaged tooth. Unlike some devices, such as dentures or bridges, crowns are permanent; they cannot be removed. Crowns are cemented onto your existing tooth.
A crown will strengthen a weak or damaged tooth. A crown can also straighten or improve the alignment of a tooth. The crown may also improve the appearance of a tooth. The crown is may also be placed over top an implant. This may provide a tooth-like structure to an implant improving functionality. Porcelain crowns can be matched with the color of your existing teeth to provide a more natural look. Other materials that may be used are ceramic gold, acrylic and other, certain metal alloys. The metal alloys are typically stronger than porcelain and more commonly recommended for the back teeth because of the purpose of the teeth.
Why do you need a crown?
There are many reasons a dentist will recommend a crown. Perhaps you need to crown a tooth where a large filling needs to be replaced and there is not enough tooth remaining. A crown will be recommended to protect a weak tooth from fracturing or to restore a fractured tooth. Also a crown may be used to cover a dental implant or to assist in the installation of a bridge. A crown could be used to change the color of a badly discolored tooth or to cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment.
What type of crown will you receive?
The type of crown you receive depends upon a couple of factors. First, is the crown in the front of your mouth of the back? Another factor is the amount of room, or space you have in-between the teeth that you will be crowning. Another factor that is a variable is whether or not you grind your teeth.
What is the process of installing a crown?
Depending upon the treatment you have received determines the process of installing your crown. If you have a badly rotted tooth it may be that your dentist will need to build up a support with materials so the crown has something to adhere to. Or, if you have just had root treatment, perhaps the dentist will file down your tooth to enable the crown to fit over the tooth.
An impression will be made of the tooth. The impression will be sent off to a lab to manufacture the crown. In the meantime you will be given a temporary crown until your permanent crown is ready. When the permanent crown arrives it will replace the temporary crown.