A crown is a covering that covers the whole tooth exterior and restores it to its original shape and size. A crown guards and reinforces tooth structure that cannot be fixed with other types of restorations.
Crowns will last many years, but may eventually need to be replaced. Crowns are made to match the size and shape of your teeth, providing you with a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.
Crowns are used for:
- Broken, fractured or decayed teeth where the lost tooth structure is significant
- Enhancing appearance
- Changing the size of the tooth where indicated
Crowns come is various materials. The most common types are gold crowns, porcelain crowns, and a mix between the two where porcelain is combined with gold to give the benefits of both. This decision is carefully selected to get the results you care most about.
All porcelain crowns provide for optimal appearance, though at the price of strength. These characteristics make them ideal for teeth towards the front of your mouth. Certain types of porcelain have been engineered to be strong enough for the back teeth, but often the porcelain-gold option is best.
When porcelain is bonded to the gold substructure, you benefit from the strength of the metal while enjoying the appearance of the porcelain. This type of crown is the most widely used. They work very well for back teeth, but may not provide adequate looks for your front teeth.
Gold crowns are ideal for those seeking a long-lasting restoration. Gold is one of the best materials available in dentistry. The one significant problem is its color—it’s just not the color of your teeth. Gold crowns are thus ideal for your back teeth (molars).
Two appointments are usually needed for a crown procedure. During the first appointment, while the tooth is numb, it is prepared by eliminating decay and shaping the exterior to fit the crown. Next, impressions are made of the tooth to send to the lab. They will create a custom crown that blends in with the surrounding teeth in size, shape and often color. A temporary crown is made to cover your tooth until your new crown is available.
At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned and your new crown will be placed. Adjustments are made to make the new crown work well with your existing teeth.
The most common reason crowns fail is when decay finds its way underneath the crown. They bacteria accomplish this by getting into the junction between the crown and the tooth. Therefore, it is important that you work diligently to clean this area well. This often includes the increased need for regular flossing.