Dental Crown

What is a dental crown?

A dental crown (or cap) is a method for restoring a tooth that has decayed, worn down, or cracked and cannot be corrected with a tooth filling. Crowns are required when the strength of the existing natural tooth is compromised. A crown strengthens your existing, damaged tooth to preserve its functionality by providing full coverage protection. A crown restores your tooth to its original appearance to create a smoother, cleaner look.

In our office we offer many varieties of crowns to provide you with every possible option to save your teeth and sustain a healthy mouth. While dental crowns can be made of different materials, porcelain crowns offer the best match for the appearance of natural teeth. If you need a crown, contact us so we can get your tooth evaluated by one of our Dentists.

Why do I need a dental crown?

  1. If your tooth has a large cavity and there is not enough tooth structure remaining to support a filling.
  2. If a portion of your tooth has fractured and it cannot be built up using traditional composite bonding techniques.
  3. After root canal therapy, the tooth generally becomes brittle with the lack of nerve and blood supply. Especially if it is a back tooth, we recommend a dental crown to protect the tooth from further damage and give it support to withstand chewing pressure.
  4. In some instances, an old filling may have expanded and/or contracted over time, causing it to separate from the tooth, which can cause the tooth to become damaged. The distorted filling eventually causes a small crack or opening between itself and the tooth, which ultimately results in decay. If the filling is not replaced by a dental crown, the tooth may crack and bring on more serious problems and discomfort.
  5. If you grind your teeth and have a poor diet. Acid erosion (soda, lemons and other citrus fruits are the main culprits for acid erosion) may reduce your teeth to a point where the only option available is to crown them.
  6. To improve the aesthetics of your smile (cosmetic dentistry).
  7. If you are missing a tooth, the best option for replacing the missing tooth is a dental implant. After placement of the dental implant, the process is completed using a dental crown as the finishing part of the implant.
  8. As an alternative to a dental implant, missing teeth can also be replaced using a dental bridge. Crowns are used to cap the two remaining natural teeth adjacent to a missing tooth. The two crowns are connected with an artificial tooth that replaces the missing tooth. A bridge literally “bridges the gap” created by the loss of a tooth. A bridge looks like 3 individual teeth but is actually one piece.

What different types of dental crowns are there?

  1. All Metal Crowns (gold, base metals). These crowns are very good crowns that last for years, but most people shy away from them due to their lack of esthetics.
  2. PFM Crowns (porcelain fused to metal crowns). These crowns have a metal substructure for strength and porcelain fused to metal to improve esthetic qualities.
  3. All Porcelain Crowns. These crowns are by far the most esthetic and natural-looking but are not appropriate for all teeth.

What is the procedure for getting a dental crown?

  1. During the initial crown visit, the dentist will prepare your tooth by removing the appropriate amount of your tooth to create space for your new crown. A crown preparation is designed to allow the new crown to slide over the remaining natural tooth structure after preparation has been completed.
  2. After the tooth has been prepared by the dentist, the assistant will place a small piece of gingival cord (like a tiny shoelace) around the tooth to help push the gum tissue away from the tooth to create a small amount of space for the impression material.
  3. The dentist will then place impression material (a putty-like material) around the prepared tooth. This impression (or mold) will allow the lab to fabricate the crown for a precise fit.
  4. A temporary crown will be fabricated and fitted to protect your tooth and gums until the permanent crown has been fabricated. It usually takes the lab about 3 weeks to have the crown fabricated and returned to the office for placement on the tooth.
  5. During the second visit (approx. 3 weeks after the initial visit), the dentist will remove your temporary crown and fit your permanent crown to your tooth. The dentist will then cement it permanently to your tooth.

I’ve been seeing Dr. Hall and his team at Tumamoc Dental for almost two years. When I started, I had been without dental coverage for a while so I had some work that needed to get done. This included a crown replacement, a filing or two, and a possible nerve issue. Dr. Hall took care of the first two issues and referred me to his own endodontist for the third. Since then my wife and I have been going into Tumamoc Dental for twice a year check-ups and cleanings.

I’m giving Dr. Hall and his team 5 stars because they are the best! I’ve never before looked forward so much to going to the dentist. All of the staff are friendly and welcoming, scheduling is flexible, all cost and insurance coverages are explained clearly before any procedure, and rates for all my work have been very reasonable. I also appreciate the optional text appointment reminders.

Thank you Tumamoc Dental!

Charles Ward