Everything You Need to Know About Dental Crowns
You may have heard that dental crowns are an effective way to restore a tooth, but do you know how they work? At Shenk Dental Care, we provide beautiful dental crowns to correct damaged teeth and prevent the need for more complex restorations in the future. Call our office to learn about dental crowns in Roswell, GA with Drs. Judd and Michael Shenk.
What is a Crown?
A crown is a tooth shaped cap that completely covers and protects your tooth. They are often needed when a tooth has suffered structural damage that threatens its ongoing health. For example, a large crack or fracture may eventually lead to an infection if not restored with a crown. Large cavities are also frequently treated with a crown when too much of a tooth has been lost to decay. For example, if there is not enough tooth left to hold a filling, a crown is the most commonly recommended treatment.
Crowns can also be used cosmetically. Most frequently they are used to cover and replace a tooth that is misshapen or badly stained and doesn’t respond to whitening treatments. If you have a single problem tooth that disrupts the beauty of your smile, a porcelain crown can be a long-lasting and cost-effective solution to the problem.
How are Crowns Made?
Crowns are typically made of metal, porcelain, or porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM). Metal crowns tend to be the most resistant and long-lasting choice, but most people prefer porcelain for aesthetic reasons. Nowadays you usually only see metal crowns on the molars at the back of the mouth, if at all. PFM crowns can provide a stronger bond with the natural tooth but have a greater risk of chipping or revealing a visible line of metal at the gum line.
The dental porcelain used to create dental crowns is an extremely strong and durable form of fabricated ceramic. This is not the same fragile, brittle form of ceramic that’s used to make plates and mugs. Rather, dental porcelain resists chipping and breaking better than natural tooth enamel.
Porcelain crowns are carefully designed to harmonize with your smile and match the color of your teeth—so they always look natural. Crowns can also be made from Zirconia (laboratory-created diamond), but these do not look as much like natural tooth enamel.
Some dental offices use a milling machine to create a crown right there in the dental office, but most practices employ a professional dental laboratory to create your crown. They use an impression or scan of your bite to make sure the crown will fit into your unique tooth alignment and the color is carefully matched to your natural hue.
What to Expect
The first step when getting a crown is treating the tooth. In order for the crown to encircle and bond with your tooth, some enamel must be removed. After the tooth has been treated, a dental impression is made, so the laboratory can create the perfect crown for you. Since the crowns take some time to be made, we fit you with a temporary crown before you leave the first appointment.
You should always take care not to be too hard on a temporary crown. They are not as well bonded to the tooth, nor are they as strong as permanent crowns. You may eat the same foods as usual, but avoid biting down on hard or very sticky foods.
If your temporary crown becomes dislodged or loosened while we are waiting for your permanent crown, give us a call and we’ll determine whether you need to come back in and have it redone. (Sometimes a temporary crown can actually be reattached at home with a small amount of sugarless gum or temporary dental adhesive.)
Getting Your Permanent Crown
Your permanent crown will usually be ready within a couple of weeks. When we receive the crown, we will give you a call to arrange a convenient time for your appointment. This appointment does not take long, usually, as we only need to remove the temporary, clean the tooth, bond the new crown to the tooth, and then check for a good fit.
Since the crown will be slightly different from your original tooth (in shape) it may take a couple of days for the crown to feel natural in your mouth. If you find yourself in any discomfort after the crown has been attached, give us a call. Sometimes the crown may sit too high and disrupt your chewing or a sharp edge may bother the soft tissues of your mouth. We can usually correct these problems very quickly.
Do You Have Questions About Dental Crowns?
For more information about dental crowns in Roswell, GA, call Shenk Dental Care. Request an appointment online or call us at 770-992-6568.