A dental crown, also known as a cap, restores a tooth’s shape, size, and strength. It fully encases the visible portion of your tooth or dental implant, returning your tooth to its natural beauty.
Dental Filling vs. Crown
Over time, teeth can become weak or severely worn down, leading to decay, cracking, and breaking. This can cause not only pain, but also embarrassment. We can restore your teeth to the right size, shape, and strength, alleviating your discomfort in the process with custom-made, natural-looking crowns.
Dental crowns provide structural support for damaged or broken teeth while protecting them from further harm. Because of their versatility, dental crowns are among the most popular dental treatments at our La Mesa dental practice and at dental practices throughout the country. Unlike fillings which are applied directly into your mouth, crowns are custom-created and permanently placed onto your tooth.
Dental crowns can be made out of a variety of materials, such as gold, porcelain, metal, zirconia or a combination of materials. The natural look of porcelain makes it the preferred material for most crowns. The process of creating and fitting a crown takes place over 1-2 visits.
When crafted carefully and with your individual needs in mind, a permanent crown can restore your confidence, comfort, and overall quality of life.
The Benefits of Dental Crowns
A crown may be recommended by your Dentist in order to:
• Restore and protect a tooth that is worn, decayed, cracked, or broken
• Protect and support a tooth after a very large filling or root canal treatment
• Cover a dental implant
• Hold a dental bridge or other prosthetic device in place
• Restore teeth after excessive wear in patients who are prone to grinding their teeth, such as with TMJ disorders
• Protect teeth against acidic diets and/or acid reflux
• Improve your smile by covering a misshapen or severely discolored tooth
After a thorough exam of your teeth, gums and supporting bone structure, your Dentist will discuss treatment options with you and answer your questions. If the agreed upon-treatment is a dental crown, your Dentist will decided whether to fabricate a Cerec CAD/CAM crown (made and delivered in 1 visit) or have your crown fabricated off-site at a dental laboratory (requires 2 appointments)
At the first visit, the dentist will apply a local anesthetic to numb your tooth. She will first remove any decay and defective tooth structure, and then she will sculpt the damaged tooth to accommodate the thickness of the crown.
Cerec CAD/CAM Crown
• In just one office visit, your crown is designed and created in our office using CEREC®CAD/CAM technology.
• There’s no need for a temporary crown or a second visit, as you will have a fully completed porcelain crown at the end of your visit.
• Your crown will be adjusted so that it fits properly against the adjacent and opposing teeth, and then it will be permanently cemented or bonded to your tooth.
Crown procedure using CAD/CAM technology
• At your first visit, a putty-like material is used to make impression of your prepared teeth. Your crown will be fabricated for a precise fit based on this impression.
• You will be fitted with a temporary crown to protect your tooth/implant and gums until your permanent crown has been fabricated.
• During a second office visit, your Dentist will fit your permanent crown and cement or bond it to your tooth or dental implant.
Crown procedure using traditional impression technique
Caring for your dental crowns
With proper care, dental crowns typically last between 5 to 20 years.
Brushing and flossing the teeth regularly is essential to maintaining the health of the remaining natural tooth structure and the surrounding teeth. Although the dental crown is not a natural tooth, it is still subject to cavities and fractures. Extra care should be taken when brushing a crowned tooth to protect it from unnecessary wear.
In some cases, Dr. Toland may recommend a mouth guard to be worn at night to provide additional protection.
Interested in Dental Crowns?
If you think that you might benefit from a dental crown, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Meghan Toland by contacting our La Mesa cosmetic and restorative dentistry practice today.