Our team of professionals at Harper Dental have many years of experience in helping patients recover the normal use and appearance of a damaged smile. Crowns are one of our most effective solutions to handle broken or severely decayed teeth. Sometimes referred to as caps, they are used to take up the space left behind by damage and severe decay that fillings just cannot help. They are prosthetic objects that are cemented onto the affected tooth.
Crowns can also be used to fill in gaps left by entirely missing teeth. Allowing such gaps to remain can cause neighboring teeth to start shifting and create a misaligned bite. They also help to restore the cosmetic appearance of a smile, strengthen a damaged tooth, and to protect an implant. The ability to chew can also become easier. Depending on the severity of the damage being repaired, the particular tooth being fixed, and the material of crown chosen, they can last anywhere between 7-40 years.
Types of Dental Crowns
Porcelain crowns are popularly used in restoring front teeth because of their ability to match the natural tooth color. Another popular choice is porcelain bonded to precious metal. Here the precious metal makes up the base and is layered with porcelain on top. These crowns are typically stronger and more durable than just porcelain options.
All-ceramic crowns are often as strong as bonded options, making them suitable for use in all areas of the mouth. Gold alloy crowns are made up of a mix of gold and other metals. They tend to bond very well with teeth and are resistant to wear and tear. Base metal alloy crowns are made using non-noble metals. This makes them difficult to corrode and are a good option where there is little decayed or broken off of the tooth. Both gold and metal alloy crowns are gentle on opposing teeth.
Preparing the Tooth
To fit a crown, an impression of the tooth needs to be taken. We may need to reduce the size of the tooth first so that the crown can sit properly. This is not usually required if you have opted for a metal crown as they can be made thinner than other options. A root canal treatment may also be prescribed if damage has gone as deep as the pulp of the tooth, where the nerves are situated. In cases where too much of the tooth is gone, a foundation may need to be added to support the crown.
During the first visit, a temporary crown will be fitted to cover the tooth as the impressions are sent to the lab to create the permanent crown. Temporary crowns are made of plastic and are cemented in place with weaker temporary cement. This is so the temporary crown can be easily removed when you come back in for the permanent one.
During your second visit, the permanent crown will be checked for fit. Sometimes a bit of polishing is required to ensure it sits well. It is then permanently cemented onto the tooth.
To ensure a correctly done crown placement, come and see us. Our team will carry out a comprehensive dental exam, discuss your options, and help in making a suitable material choice. Call us on Harper Dental at (479) 431-0280 today to book your appointment.