If a tooth has more extensive decay, a dental crown may be the ideal aesthetic and functional restorative solution.
Choosing to have a crown placed can preserve the natural tooth, which is always the goal as preserving the natural teeth helps maintain the supporting bone structure and stability of the surrounding and adjacent teeth.
The first step in the process is to take an impression that will be used to make a model of the teeth and bite. This allows the crown to be made to look and function like your natural tooth. The tooth will then be prepped, with the decayed areas being removed. An impression of the prepped tooth will be made so that the final crown will fit properly when it is placed.
Sometimes the final crown can be placed on the same day but other times a temporary crown will be placed while your final restoration is being created. Crowns often last a lifetime with proper care and oral hygiene.
There are four common types of crowns:
This type of crown is often used for teeth that are visible when smiling as they are made from a porcelain-based material that retains the look of your natural teeth.
Porcelain Fused to Metal
These crowns are known for their strength and durability while also allowing for a natural-looking restoration.
These may be used when more strength is needed, particularly for patients who grind their teeth at night.
Base Metal Alloys
These are strong and corrosion-resistant and are often used when there is less existing tooth structure available to support the crown restoration.
Dental Crown/Caps for Damaged Teeth
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is ideal protecting a cracked, broken tooth or covering up tooth discolorations, they can be a great solution for improving your smile.
It is a tooth shaped cap that fits over a problem tooth to improve strength, size and appearance.
The procedure is relatively simple. First we will anesthetize the problem tooth area. Once completely numb, the tooth is filed down so that the crown fits appropriately. Then, we will take an impression of the tooth to use in the construction.
The impressions are sent away to a dental laboratory to create the restoration; meanwhile, we apply a sturdy temporary crown over the problem tooth while your customary one is manufactured. Once your customary crown is ready, you will return to Rolling Hills Dental and the cap will be applied. Now you have a bright, healthy-looking new tooth!
They can offer several benefits:
Long term durability
Protection from further decay, infection and cracking
Improved chewing and talking
An improved, natural and healthier smile
Types of Crowns Available at Rolling Hills Dental Group in the South Bay
At Rolling Hills Dental Group we offer three different types of dental caps:
All-Metal Crowns –These are prepared solely with metal alloys. Although they possess excellent strength, they do not looks as natural as porcelain or ceramic crowns. Thus, they are reserved mostly the for restoration of posterior teeth, which are not typically visible.
All-Porcelain Crowns –These look the most natural, since they are prepared from tooth colored ceramics. Patients who are extremely conscious about their smile and facial aesthetics usually select all porcelain caps. These are used for restoring front teeth, and are popular in this area for their ability to blend with your natural teeth color.
Metal-Ceramic Crowns –These combine the strength of metal caps, and the excellent natural look of porcelain ones. They contain a framework of metallic alloys, over which a layer of porcelain has been attached. This cap provides a stronger bond than regular porcelain because it is connected to a metal structure. It’s also extremely durable.
Here are the main differences of these crowns
Durability is best in the gold and metal alloys caps, whereas the all-porcelain cap tends to be less strong, more susceptible if it is put under enough pressure (if you grind your teeth at night, this may pose a problem). By contrast, the crown of porcelain fused to metal offers better durability. Both porcelain-based caps are highly resistant to wear, but they can quickly aggravate opposing teeth if the adjacent surface becomes rough. Incidentally, the gold and metal alloys are resistant to wear and gentle on opposing teeth at the same time.
Though they sometimes become loose or fall out, caps can last a lifetime if properly maintained. The best way to achieve this is through proper oral health. Brushing and flossing twice a day are your go-to methods of keeping your teeth healthy every morning and night.
Why and When to Crown a Tooth?
At Rolling Hills Dental, we recommend crowning a tooth when there is a:
A technical (restorative) requirement
A cosmetic requirement
Often times, both of these situations will be simultaneously satisfied with a cap.Therefore, the cosmetic effect will also be considered when restoring a tooth to its full function. This can include whitening the teeth and even lengthening them in certain cases. Luckily, this procedure doesn’t cause any pain in our patients.
At Rolling Hills Dental we may advise crowning your tooth in the following situations:
Weak teeth:If any of your teeth are weak, heavily worn down, cracked, or otherwise damaged, they can likely be saved if caught early.
Following root canal treatment:A restored tooth, especially after a root canal treatment, may be so weak that it will not be able to bear chewing during meals. In this situation, the tooth should be capped by one of our dentists.
Heavily filled teeth:If a tooth has been restored with a large filling but has left little original material, the tooth may not survive. Such a tooth must be capped.
For a cosmetic adjustment. This would include:
Aesthetics –They can improve the looks of badly shaped teeth.
Masking permanent teeth stains:Discolored teeth can also be covered.
Longevity: They can prove to be long lasting, and rarely, if ever, fall off.
Other possible applications would include:
To hold a bridge in place
To cover a dental implant
Dental crowns restore your ability to speak, improve your smile, and allow you to chew food properly.
Crowns for Children’s Teeth at Rolling Hills Dental
Normally, they are applied to permanent teeth. However, under certain conditions, they may be used for baby teeth. One such situation is when a child is considered a high risk case for tooth decay. As an example, a tooth so badly damaged that it cannot safely support a filling would receive one. There are different types available for children, your dentist at Rolling Hills Dental can advise you on the right choice for your son or daughter.
What Steps Are Involved in Preparing a Tooth for a Crown?
Preparing a tooth for a crown usually requires two visits to your dentist at Rolling Hills Dental — the first step involves examining and preparation, the second visit involves placement.
First Visit: Examining and preparing the tooth.
At the first visit, your dentist may take a few X-rays to check the roots of the tooth receiving the restoration and surrounding bone. If the tooth has extensive decay or if there is a risk of infection or injury to the tooth’s pulp, a root canal treatment may first be performed.
Before the process begins, your dentist will anesthetize (numb) the tooth and the gum tissue around the tooth. Next, it is filed down along the chewing surface and sides to make room for the cap. The amount removed depends on the type used. If, on the other hand, a large area of the tooth is missing (due to decay or damage), your dentist will use filling material to “build up” the tooth to support it.
After reshaping it, your dentist typically will use a paste or putty to make an impression of the tooth. Sometimes, though, impressions are made with a digital scanner. Impressions of the teeth above and below the tooth to receive the dental crown will also be made to make sure that it will not affect your bite.
The impressions or scans are sent to a dental lab where it will be manufactured. It is usually returned to your dentist’s office in two to three weeks. If it is made of porcelain, your dentist will also select the shade that most closely matches the color of the neighboring teeth. Your dentist may recommend teeth whitening prior to selecting the color. During this first office visit your dentist will make a temporary cap to cover and protect the prepared tooth while the crown is being made. These usually are made of acrylic and are held in place using a temporary cement.
Second Visit: Receiving the permanent dental crown.
At the second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and check the fit and color of the permanent one. If everything is acceptable, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the tooth and the new one is permanently cemented in place.
Cost of Dental Crowns
Dental crowns range in price, typically based on the material being used. As both a cosmetic and practical addition to your mouth, the price is worth the cost. This means finding the right dentist to fit you with the best type available at the right cost to you. If you’re in The South Bay, then the closest choice (and the clearest) is with Dr. Jeff Goodman, Dr. Jerry Bottomley, Dr. Norton Donner or Dr. Kevin Lin and their staff at Rolling Hills Dental.
Life Span and Repair of Crowns
If if they are properly maintained, they may last a lifetime. Unfortunately, we sometimes see patients who have had poor quality dental work and as result, their crown was not properly fitted over the prepared tooth. If it does not fit well over the prepared tooth, bacteria will sometimes leak in and cause decay. If yours seems loose when you chew, or if you have an unusual odor around the tooth, discuss this with us. We will check your crown immediately.
If it comes off, do not try to put in back in yourself as you may damage your natural tooth. Place it in a secure, zip-top plastic bag. Then bring it to us. Most of the time a new one needs to be made. The old one may be able to be used as a temporary crown.
A beautiful, restored smile is awaiting you at Rolling Hills Dental Group. Our dentists, Dr. Jeff Goodman, Dr. Jerry Bottomley, Dr. Norton Donner or Dr. Kevin Lin at Rolling Hills Dental in Southern California can help give you the gift of a new smile!