A crown – sometimes called a “cap” – is a tooth-like covering placed over a carefully prepared existing tooth. Used to strengthen, restore or improve the appearance of your natural tooth, a crown is placed on an individual tooth much like a thimble over your finger. Crowns serve many functions in addition to being used to strengthen a tooth to accommodate the attachment of a fixed bridge. One of the most common is to support the tooth when there is no longer sufficient tooth structure left to place a filling. Crowns may also be used to protect the structure of a tooth that is fractured or broken.
Root canal treated teeth become brittle, resulting in a higher risk of fracture. It is therefore the treatment of choice to have all root canal treated teeth crowned.
How long does it take to fit a dental crown?
Once we determine that a crown is indicated, a series of appointments will be scheduled for you. It is important for you to keep all of these appointments to prevent any delays in treatment. At the first appointment, we carefully shape and contour the tooth or teeth to be crowned to allow the crown sufficient space for proper fit and appearance. Finally, we take an impression of the area and fit the tooth involved with a temporary acrylic crown to protect it until your next appointment. At our office we also have digital impression technology whereby digital images are taken of the prepared tooth and sent via the internet to laboratory for manufacture.
At the following appointment, we evaluate the final crown for proper fit before placing it permanently, making final adjustments, if necessary. Other factors we carefully consider at this time include:
Aesthetics – Colour match and appearance
Function – Chewing and biting accuracy
Tissue compatibility – The contour of the crown must conform to the surrounding tissue in a natural, healthy position.
Key Benefits of Dental Crowns
- Replaces missing teeth
- Offers support to misshapen teeth or badly broken teeth
- Looks completely natural
- Fixes “smile” and functional chewing problems
What are the capabilities of crowns?
Crown and bridgework is a very reliable solution for major dental problems caused through accidents, diseases or wear and tear. Major problems can usually be corrected using these techniques. Material used in these repairs is either high-grade porcelain, or porcelain bonded to semi-precious or precious metals. Where accidental damage has occurred, resulting in lost teeth, or where teeth have broken away through excessive wear, or as the result of old fillings breaking, crowns and/or bridges can be used as a long-term solution.
Many people have unexplained pain from filled back teeth, which is usually due to hairline cracks in the chewing part of the tooth. Placing crowns on these teeth relieves the pain and allows a return of full dental function for these teeth. In front teeth, older fillings can both weaken the teeth and cause “appearance” problems due to staining or chipping. Porcelain crowns and bridges are suitable in cases where porcelain veneers are not. In teeth with root canal fillings, crowns can prevent breakage.