What is a Dental Crown?
Damage to your teeth can greatly affect the quality of your smile. It can also compromise your oral health. When the damage extends into the inner layer of your tooth, oral bacteria can enter the tooth, causing a serious infection. Damage can also worsen, and your tooth may split or shatter. A dental crown is a “cap” that protects a compromised tooth, preventing further damage and infections from occurring. It can help to avoid the need for extraction. Certain types of crowns can also restore the beauty of your smile, and give you back your confidence.
Materials Used for Dental Crowns
There are a few different materials that are used for making dental crowns:
|•||Metal. Metal crowns, which are silver or gold in color, have been in use the longest. However, despite their strength, many patients do not want metal crowns because they stand out in your mouth. Metal crowns may also be problematic for patients with metal allergies.
|•||Porcelain fused to metal (PFM). These crowns consist of a metal base that surrounds your tooth and a porcelain coating. The porcelain is meant to provide a more aesthetic appearance, helping the crown to blend in with the rest of your smile, while the metal provides superior protection for the tooth. While the porcelain does blend in, a thin metal line often shows through the porcelain at the base. Again, these crowns may not be ideal for patients with metal allergies.
|•||Ceramic. Ceramic crowns are the best option aesthetically. They are made entirely of ceramic. They can be stained and finished to perfectly match the rest of your surrounding teeth. They are not as strong as metal, but they are still relatively strong. They can withstand normal, everyday use and can last upwards of 30 years or more.|
Dental Crown Procedure
Dental crowns typically take two visits to complete. Your first visit consists of preparing the affected tooth for the crown. We trim or remove, some of the enamel from the tooth, reducing it in size. This is meant to make room so that your crown will fit in with the rest of your teeth. Once the tooth is prepared, we then take an impression, which is sent to our lab. There, your custom crown is designed and fabricated.
It can take up to 2-3 weeks for your final crown to be ready. While you wait, you will be provided with a temporary crown, which will protect the affected tooth from infection and harm. When the final crown is ready, we will check it for fit and then cement it into place. When the process is complete, your new dental crown will function exactly like a normal tooth.
Benefits of Dental Crowns
Dental crowns offer several benefits:
|•||Ceramic crowns are made to blend in with the rest of your teeth, restoring the aesthetics of your smile.
|•||Crowns protect a damaged or weak tooth and provide it with strength.
|•||Crowns are used following root canals to avoid new infections.
|•||Crowns anchor dental bridges and cover screws from Dental Implants.|
If your smile has been diminished by damage to your teeth, call The Elmwood Dental Group LLC at (860) 331-8748 to find out if dental crowns are right for you.