A crown, sometime referred to as a cap, is a strong protective structure that is necessary for a number of reasons. Typically it is utilized when a tooth fractures, a large filling breaks down or too much tooth structure is lost due to decay. It can also be used to hold a bridge in place, set over an implant, or positioned for aesthetic purposes to cover misshapen or badly discolored teeth in cases where other cosmetic procedures aren’t recommended. At Alabama Family Dentist we use several types of crowns. Your dentist will work with you to decide the best treatment plan for your individual case. Stainless steel crowns are recommended for youngsters due to their strength and lower cost as most crowns for youth are temporary in nature. Porcelain fused to metal and all-ceramic crowns are best suited to teeth which are most visible as they can be made to match your natural tooth color. Porcelain fused to metal crowns are preferred for back teeth because of their strength and cosmetic effect. High noble gold crowns are an option which offers strength but is more costly, although the crown shell is thinner than ceramic or ceramic over metal styles. At Alabama Family Dentist your crown is sculpted individually to fit your specific impression model. The life span of a crown ranges from seven years and often well beyond depending on the material composition.
Implementing a crown is generally a two visit procedure. If an endodontic or root canal treatment is required, it must be completed and healed prior to crown preparation. The first step is to prepare the tooth for taking an impression for both a temporary crown and your permanent crown, at which point your dentist has several alternatives, depending on the condition of the tooth. If large areas of the tooth are decayed, damaged or missing, your dentist may need to build up a foundation to support the crown. In most cases, your dentist will file the tooth down to create room for the crown. These procedures are completed under anesthesia and there is no discomfort.
The next step is making impressions of the tooth base using a rubber-like material that hardens within minutes, as well as of the surrounding teeth to make sure that the crown fits into your normal bite. A temporary plastic protective crown is made in our office and fitted to your bite with a temporary cement to be worn while your permanent crown is prepared at the lab. The second visit simply requires removal of the temporary crown, seating and delivering the crown. The bite is checked several times, adjusted, and all margins are closed before the crown is finally cemented. The crown is polished if necessary to remove traces of the permanent cement bonding material.