Crowns are dental prosthetics placed on either back or front teeth that resemble the shape and structure of lost tooth. They are made to protect the remaining portion of the tooth and will allow the patient to resume regular activities like biting, chewing, and speaking.
Newer technology of dental materials grant us the ability to make crowns completely out of ceramic porcelain, thus eliminating the need for metal that was previously used in more traditional crowns. This also erases the blue, black, or grey line that was seen at the junction of the tooth and crown.
A dental crown may be required if a tooth has been fractured or has broken off and needs the additional support in situations whereby not enough tooth is remaining to properly fix a filling, if a tooth cannot support strong biting forces due to a very large filling, if a tooth is not strong enough due to just receiving a root canal, if a tooth has too much decay and needs additional help, or if a previously existing crown is fractured or broken.
The treatment procedure for receiving a dental crown is accomplished over three appointments.
The initial visit starts with freezing the affected tooth and surrounding are as well as placing a rubber dam to prevent materials from falling into the throat area. Then the affected tooth can be investigated and any old fillings or tooth decay will be removed and the site is thoroughly cleaned. Usually the internal space created will need to be filled with a build-up material. This build-up material acts as the foundation upon which the crown will placed. Once the tooth has been cleaned and reshaped, an impression is taken for the dental laboratory technician to design a new crown. Finally, a temporary acrylic tooth is placed on the affected site to allow the patient to resume all natural functions.
After about a week, the porcelain crown has been fabricated and the fitting can occur. Once again the surrounding area and the affected tooth are frozen and the temporary tooth is removed so the new porcelain crown can be cemented/bonded in. After the crown is securely placed, the bite is checked and all surfaces of the tooth are polished.
The last visit will be the shortest and is needed to check the bite, check the ability to floss around the newly crowned tooth, and to check if the gum tissues have been responding well.
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