Crowns are one of the most common dental treatments that dentists provide. Unlike fillings, which fill holes within a tooth, a crown is a tooth-shaped cover that fits over the entire surface of a tooth. Crowns are typically made of gold, other metals, porcelain (or a combination of metal and porcelain), and in some cases, newer materials like zirconia. Each material has different attributes and your dentist will help you determine which is best in your situation.
Why do I Need a Dental Crown?
Dental crowns in Marietta ,GA (colloquially known as “caps”) serve a number of different purposes. Some reasons you may need a crown include:
• Broken or cracked tooth
• Teeth worn down from bruxism (grinding)
• Failing restorations (fillings)
• Decay that is too extensive to treat with a filling
• Cosmetic reasons
Broken and cracked teeth often require crowns due to the strength they provide to the tooth. Strength is also an important consideration for worn down teeth; crowns can help stop the wear process and protect the tooth.
In some cases, the decay in a tooth is such that there is not adequate healthy tooth structure to hold a filling, thus a crown is required.
Since the color of crowns can be customized to match your existing teeth, they are sometimes prescribed as a cosmetic solution.
What is the Process for Getting a Crown?
Your dentist will begin by anesthetizing (numbing) the tooth to be crowned. This assures that no pain will be felt during the procedure. Once numb, the tooth is shaved down a few millimeters on each surface, creating space for the crown to recreate the tooth’s shape and anatomy.
Once the tooth is prepared, a temporary crown will be made that is worn for a few weeks while the permanent crown is made in a dental laboratory.
When the permanent crown is ready, you will return for an appointment during which the temporary crown is removed. The permanent crown is then tried on and checked for proper fit and occlusion (the manner in which it contacts the tooth above or below it). Once the crown is adjusted it is cemented in place.
Newer technology allows dentist to make and cement permanent crowns in the same day, if the case permits. This type of crown requires a longer appointment but there is no need for a follow-up.
Regardless of why you need a crown or what type of crown you get, rest assured that the process is painless and that the crown is designed to last a long time, hopefully preventing the need for any future work on that tooth.