A dental crown is made to look and feel just like a natural tooth and can resolve many dental issues. A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a tooth’s base in order to restore its shape, size and functionality. When a tooth has been cracked or worn, or it becomes weak from decay and is no longer viable, a crown can fully restore function as well as appearance and will help save and protect the basic foundation of the natural tooth, which might eventually have been lost if left untreated.
It is always best to salvage at least part of a natural tooth if at all possible. Missing teeth can cause deterioration of the jawbone, as well as shifting of the surrounding teeth into the empty space that is left after extraction. To keep the bone and surrounding tissue healthy, it is best to try to restore the original tooth with a dental crown. This procedure is also commonly used to hold multi-tooth bridges in place when the supporting teeth are damaged.
Basic procedures usually take two dental office visits to complete. During the initial visit, the tooth will be examined and prepared for the remainder of the procedure. Your dental professional will take an x-ray to determine if the tooth’s root is strong enough to support the new structure. If the natural tooth has extensive decay, your dentist may recommend performing root canal therapy before proceeding.
Next, the tooth is filed down to the proper size to receive the cap-like structure. Once the tooth has been filed and shaped, an impression is then taken in order to properly fit the dental crown and also to make sure your bite will not be negatively affected. Your dentist will most likely fit you with an acrylic temporary crown that is held in place with a temporary adhesive.
There are many different types of materials that can be used to custom craft the permanent structure, such as stainless steel and other metals, resin, porcelain fused to metal, and all-ceramic or all-porcelain. Some dental practices, such as Gentle Dental in Bayside, often prefer the all-porcelain variety due to their ability to provide a better natural color match than the other variations and their low allergenic properties. Your dentist will discuss the options with you in order to determine which material will best suit your needs.
While a crowned tooth doesn’t usually require special care, it is subject to similar dental issues such as decay and chipping due to excess pressure, just the same as natural teeth. Proper oral hygiene should be continued for long-lasting, positive results. On the other hand, the temporary crown will require a bit more care during the short period of time you will need to wear it. Since it is held in place with a temporary adhesive, you should avoid eating sticky foods that can pull off the structure and also extremely hard foods that can crack the acrylic material.
During your second visit, the temporary will be removed and a local anesthetic will be used while the newly manufactured crown is cemented in place. The dental crown will completely encase the entire visible portion of the remainder of your natural tooth and will fully restore its appearance and function.
For more information about porcelain crowns, contact Gentle Dental in Queens at 718-461-0100.