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If you have recently learned that you have a badly broken, damaged, or fractured tooth, our dentist may recommend having a dental crown placed. A crown or tooth-shaped ”cap” is a fixed prosthetic cemented onto a prepared tooth to restore its appearance, form and function as well as strengthen the tooth. Dental crowns cover a tooth’s entire surface, and when treatment is completed, it will look like your surrounding teeth.

When Crowns Are Used

While dental veneers are used to correct small chips or cracks in the teeth and a dental implant is used to replace a missing tooth, dental crowns are used for fixing teeth with severe decay or a large dental filling that is compromised and doesn’t protect the tooth anymore.

Crowns are also placed after a root canal, or in the case of a tooth extraction; to secure a dental bridge restoration by anchoring the adjacent natural teeth. When a dental crown is used after a root canal, it gives extra support to the tooth and lessens the risk of fractures. There are various types of dental crown materials. Porcelain, ceramic or gold are the most common materials used. The sealing ability of the crown is dependent upon the quality and makeup of the crown material.

-Ceramic crowns: These are most popular as they blend in much easier with the surrounding natural teeth and are highly resistant to wear.

-Crowns made from porcelain fused to metal: These are very durable and offer a strong seal because of their attachment to the metal.

-Crowns made of gold alloys: These are made of a blend of gold, copper and other metals and are also resistant to wear and fracture.

-Silver/Metal crowns: These are rarely used except as a substitute for a temporary; or in children, again meant for temporary/short term restoration.

The Making of Your Crown

Unless you are having a crown made on the same day, the making of a dental crown typically requires two visits. The tooth will need to be reduced in size so the crown will fit correctly; an impression is made of the crown and then a temporary crown is put in place. When the dental crown is ready, at your follow-up visit the temporary crown is removed and the permanent crown is permanently cemented on.

If your crown is being made on the same day in the dental office, then there is no need to place a temporary crown. Also, the impression made is done digitally, so there is no need for impression material to be mixed or trays to be used to make an impression or model of your teeth. And no waiting for 7-10 days for your permanent or final crown!

Caring For Your Crown

Since your crown is created to blend into your smile naturally, people around you will likely not even notice you have had a tooth replacement done. If you take good care of your crown by practicing consistent, daily oral hygiene habits, you can avoid the crown becoming loose or falling out. Brushing and flossing twice a day along with regular professional dental cleanings and checkups can keep your teeth (particularly the back molars) healthy and strong!

If you would like to know if a crown is right for you, we invite you to give us a call and schedule a consultation at RiverLake Family Dental. We will be happy to help you and your smile today!