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If you have broken, stained, or significantly decayed teeth dental crowns may be the solution for you. Crowns, also commonly called “Caps”, are used to protect teeth and replace missing tooth structure that has been lost due to severe decay or trauma. They can also be used to dramatically improve your smile if you have spacing, crowded, or crooked, uneven teeth. Crowns not only protect individual teeth, but also can help to preserve or improve your jaw’s correct alignment.
What is a crown?
A crown is a protective restoration that covers and protects the underlying tooth structure. Before the crown is placed any decay will be removed and restored. The tooth is then shaped to provide the necessary space for the crown. A crown looks like a healthy tooth and goes all the way to the gum line. Once placed it should be cared for just like a regular tooth.
Why would I need a crown?
Crowns are placed when a tooth is cracked, broken, or has damage due to severe decay or trauma. Crowns are often placed on teeth that are brittle due to a root canal or teeth that have very little of the original tooth structure remaining. We can also place crowns where you have stained, gapped, crowded, or uneven teeth.
What are crowns made from?
Crowns can be made different materials. If the crown is to be placed for esthetics we will usually use porcelain. In rare cases we use all metal crowns. They are the most durable and require less tooth reduction to be made. These are a good choice for restoring back molars on people with extremely short teeth. We’ll explain your options and let you choose the type of crown that you prefer.
How long do crowns last?
Like all other restorations, the answer to this question depends on your oral habits. Biting your nails, eating ice, grinding your teeth, and using your teeth to open packages or cut things have a definite negative impact on the life of your crowns. It is important to visit your dentist regularly and brush and floss your teeth twice a day in order to extend the life of your crown. The average life of a crown is ten years.
What is involved in having a crown made?
Most crowns can take up to 3 weeks. However, at our office we have the technology to deliver the crown the same day. First, the decay is removed from the tooth. Next, we will build the tooth up so that it can support the crown. Then we will prepare the tooth for the crown by taking an impression–at our office we will do a digital impression and obtain the proper shade. Once the permanent crown is fully adjusted, it is cemented or bonded into place and can be treated as any other natural tooth.
Fixed bridges are similar to having a tooth prepared for a crown. The difference here, is that at least one tooth on each side of the space has to be prepared so that there is room to cement the bridge over the two prepared teeth. A prosthetic tooth, or teeth, fills in the gap and gives the appearance of a natural tooth.