Over time our teeth begin to weaken and become more susceptible to problems such as decay, cracks, discoloration and others. If you feel your smile isn’t what it once was, crowns can help you recover your smile. If your dentist notices that a tooth is decayed or seems weakened/cracked a crown may be necessary to make sure that there are no additional problems with the tooth. In cases like this, a filling or bonding will not be sufficient. A dental crown is a cap that is placed on your tooth when there is not adequate tooth structure remaining to be able to support a traditional filling. A crown will provide the necessary protection that is needed to avoid tooth loss. The cap is placed over whatever tooth structure is remaining after any dental decay is removed.
Crowns can be made from zirconia, porcelain fused to zirconia, lithium disilicate, and gold. To maintain a natural look and feel, zirconia, porcelain fused to zirconia, and lithium disilicate are best, as it can be matched to the shade of your other teeth. This will allow it to blend in and appear just like one of your natural teeth.
The process of installing a crown typically takes 2 visits to the dentist. The tooth will be prepared for a crown and a temporary crown will be placed until your permanent crown is ready. You will be given a local anesthetic before this part of the procedure so that you do not experience any discomfort. Once the tooth has been reshaped, a mold will be taken of that tooth and the surrounding teeth. This mold will be sent to a dental lab so that your new crown can be made so that it fits in the spot created for it and looks the same relative to the surrounding teeth.
The crown takes about 2-3 weeks to be returned to your dentist. At this time you will have your second appointment to place and fit the permanent crown. The crown will be placed using a cement to ensure the tooth sets in place. When you look in the mirror, you will see your old smile back. Crowns are durable and will usually last about 10-15 years. You should care for it as you would any of your other teeth with regular brushing and flossing. Call us today if you would like to learn more about how crowns can help restore your smile.