Dental crowns are tooth-shaped porcelain caps that are placed on top of a biological tooth.
A useful treatment in both cosmetic and general dentistry, dental crowns can restore teeth damaged in a number of ways. Patients with extensive decay, broken or cracked teeth, or damaged large fillings will benefit from crowns.
Crowns can be used to make aesthetic improvements, as well. A crown can conceal a deep stain or bring an unusually small or misshapen tooth into the proper proportions.
Patients may also get a crown following root canal therapy. Root canals can leave teeth brittle and more susceptible to breakage, so the crown helps to protect the tooth and improves the patient’s chances of keeping it.
Dental crowns may be components of larger appliances, such as a fixed permanent bridge. The devices can also be used in conjunction with a dental implant to replace a missing tooth.
In preparing the tooth for a crown, a dentist will file down the enamel to accommodate the dental crown. The dentist takes a mold of the tooth, which is then sent to the dental lab where the crown will be crafted. Patients can wear a temporary crown until the permanent device is ready.
The crown is typically designed to match the shade of the patient’s natural teeth. If patients want a teeth whitening treatment, they should do so before the crown is placed, as it will not respond to bleaching agents.
After the dental lab has created the crown, the patient returns to the office to have the crown placed.
Most crowns are made of porcelain or porcelain fused to metal. The optical qualities of porcelain are very similar to those of tooth enamel, which gives the crown a natural appearance.
When cared for properly, dental crowns can last for many years before needing to be replaced. Patients can maintain a standard oral hygiene routine with crowns, but patients may need to alter their flossing technique slightly to protect the crown.
If you are having a problem that can be addressed by a crown, talk to our dentists at Georgian Dental® in Barrie Ontario about the process and your desired results.