We all want our teeth to remain healthy and beautiful; however, tooth decay affects almost everyone. Luckily, there have been great strides in restorative dentistry.
If you have a tooth that is severely decayed, broken, cracked, or damaged, LakeView Dental Arts may be able to restore your smile with a dental crown. A dental crown is used to make a damaged tooth stronger and improve its appearance.
When Are Crowns Necessary?
We use dental crowns for several situations. A crown is most commonly used to protect a weak tooth from breaking. For instance, a cracked or decayed tooth can be held together using a dental crown. Crowns can also be used to restore a tooth that is severely worn down. If a large filling falls out, or there is not much tooth left, Dr. Walmsley may repair it with a crown.
Other uses of crowns include:
- Holding a dental bridge in place
- Covering a severely discolored tooth
- Covering a severely misshapen tooth
- Covering a dental implant
- Protecting a tooth after a root canal
- Making cosmetic alterations
What Are the Types of Crowns?
Crowns can be made from several materials, including ceramic, zirconium, emax, porcelain over metal, gold, or stainless steel.
Ceramic or porcelain crowns have become increasingly popular in recent years. Thanks to technological advancements, porcelain can support a stronger bite force than ever before. Porcelain also provides a more natural color match than other crown alternatives. These days, porcelain crowns can be used for front and back teeth due to their light-reflecting qualities that mimic natural teeth.
If more durability is needed due to bite issues, emax or zirconium can be used due to their strength. Emax is very strong and mimics enamel well. Zirconium is also tooth-colored but is more opaque and pearl-like but is the strongest of the three choices. Dr. Walmsley will make a decision on which is the best material to fit your individual needs.
Next to all-porcelain crowns and emax, porcelain fused to metal crowns look most like your natural teeth. The underlying metal can show through in certain cases, but the metal provides additional strength. These crowns are a great choice for back teeth that need additional support.
Gold crowns can withstand the forces of chewing very well and usually last the longest. They are less common today due to standing out aesthetically from other teeth and are used at LakeView Dental Arts only by request due to both aesthetic reasons and the cost.
Stainless steel crowns are pre-made and are usually a temporary solution for children. Kids may need to receive a stainless-steel crown to protect a primary tooth and ensure a healthy eruption of their permanent teeth.
Tooth Crown Procedure
A dental crown requires a minor procedure in which Dr. Walmsley will completely reshape your tooth, removing enamel to accommodate the crown. Next, a small wand is used to scan the new shape of the tooth. Our patients love having these scans instead of traditional goopy impressions that cause many people to gag! It’s a much easier alternative rather than old-school impressions. This scan will be entered into our computer system and used to fabricate a new crown with a dental-specific CAD-cam, CEREC, that mills crowns in our office.
Crowns in a day! At LakeView Dental Arts, the fabrication process can typically be done the same day the tooth is prepped while the patient waits! This same-day fabrication is so much more convenient for our patients because it eliminates the need for a second appointment to seat the crown, as well as the need for a temporary crown.
There are instances that we have to have the client return later the same day to have the crown seated (such as if the crown is made from zirconium which takes longer to mill and fire in an oven). There are other instances that we are unable to do a same-day crown fabrication, and a second appointment is needed, but we try for same-day crowns whenever possible for your convenience!
After the crown is seated, we check the margins of your new crown to ensure food won’t get trapped and ensure your bite is correct against the opposing teeth. We may need to make some minor adjustments to ensure the perfect fit.
Once Dr. Walmsley is happy with the results, your crown will be permanently cemented into place. Occasionally a crown will have to be further adjusted because teeth come together differently when you are numb.
Under the right care and maintenance, your crown can last 10 years or longer. In order to maximize the length of time your crown will last, it needs to be cared for like a natural tooth: brushing at least two times a day, flossing daily, and regular professional cleanings and checkups.
Schedule Your Crowns Appointment Today!
Call (865) 376-9687 to schedule your appointment in Kingston, TN, today!