Crowns are used when simply filling a tooth would leave it weak and vulnerable to cracking, or when making cosmetic improvements to the teeth is the goal. A crown is placed over a tooth, replacing most of its enamel. It surrounds the tooth, giving it strength and providing a strong, durable biting surface.
Crowns are often used when large fillings wear out, when a tooth cracks, when a cavity is especially large, and after a root canal procedure. A filling does not strengthen a tooth, and if there is not enough tooth structure remaining, the tooth can crack or break. Biting places teeth under tremendous pressure. Sometimes this causes a tooth to crack.
Filling a large cavity may leave too little tooth structure to provide enough support. A root canal procedure removes a great deal of material from the center of the tooth. This leaves the tooth weak and vulnerable to failure. In these cases, a crown surrounds the tooth, permanently stabilizing and strengthening the tooth.
TYPES OF CROWNS - Crowns were traditionally made of gold. Gold is still considered by many to be the finest material available for restorations. The appearance of gold, however, is not very natural.
Crowns may also be made of steel or aluminum. They are not generally as resilient, or as attractive as other types of crowns, and are used the most for temporary coverage.
Porcelain crowns are a more natural-looking option. They were once made of porcelain layered upon a metal core. But now, with stronger ceramics and improved adhesives, crowns can be made entirely of porcelain - eliminating the metal base that could often be seen at the gumline. Your dentist will select the best material for your particular situation.
Procedure - Placing a crown requires two office visits. During the first visit, any decayed material is removed..and the teeth are shaped to receive the crown.
From this impression, a working model is made upon which the crown is crafted to precisely fit the prepared tooth. Your dentist will place a temporary crown for the short time that it takes the lab to create the permanent crown.
On the second visit, the temporary crown is removed, and the new crown is put in place. Your dentist will then check to see that the fit and bite are correct. At this time, your dentist will make any necessary alterations to the shape and fit of the crown.
When everything is just right, a permanent adhesive is applied to the interior of the crown..
and it is set in place on the prepared tooth.
Once the crown has been properly positioned, the excess adhesive is wiped away. The crown and its bond to the supporting tooth are extremely strong. You will be able to use the crowned tooth exactly as you would any other tooth.