All About Crowns

Has your dentist recommended a dental crown? Here is what you need to know.

A dental crown restores a tooth’s look and function. In other words, a crown can make your tooth stronger and look better. A crown can help prevent loss of the tooth, so that you can keep as many of your original teeth as possible. Your dental crown can also fill gaps, hold broken teeth together, cover dental implants, hold a dental bridge, and restore your smile if you already have missing teeth.

Your dentist may have recommended a dental crown if you have a particularly weak tooth, discolored tooth, or unattractive tooth that you want to cover for cosmetic reasons.

About the Dental Crown Procedure

Placement of a crown usually requires two appointments your dentist. During the first visit, your dentist prepares the tooth for placement of the crown by reducing the size of the tooth so the crown fits snugly. Your dentist may need to work with your tooth if it is severely damaged or broken to make the tooth large enough to receive the crown and strong enough to hold the crown in place.  

Next, your dentist will make an impression of the prepared tooth in order to make an exact mold for your new crown. If you are getting a porcelain crown, your dentist will determine the precise shade of your teeth so that the color of your new crown matches your teeth perfectly.

Your dentist then sends the mold of the prepared tooth to a dental lab, where dental laboratory technicians create a crown in the material specified by your dentist. This will take about two weeks or so; your dentist will tell you how long you will wait to receive your crown. Your dentist will fit a temporary crown over the prepared tooth. This temporary crown will remain in place until your permanent crown arrives from the lab.

Dental lab technicians use a number of materials to make crowns. Materials include ceramic, porcelain, resin, and stainless steel. When making crowns for cosmetic purposes, the lab technicians will usually choose porcelain or ceramic. Metal-free, biocompatible ceramic is a very strong, long-lasting material for crowns.

You will return to your dentist for the second visit after your crown arrives. Your dentist will remove the temporary crown and replace it with the permanent one. Next, your dentist will cement the permanent crown in place and adjust it as needed so that your bite is just right.

Your dentist may be able to do crowns in a single visit with CEREC® technology, proven by hundreds of clinical studies. During that single appointment, your dentist will prepare the tooth and then take a digital picture of that tooth. Your dentist then uses a special computer program and CEREC® machine to mill the crown there, on the premises.

Caring for Your Dental Crown for a Lifetime of Great Smiles

Crowns can last a lifetime, but they do sometimes come loose; they can even fall out! Practicing good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do to ensure the longevity of your crown. Brush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day to keep your gums clean, and floss once daily. See your dentist regularly for checkups to make sure your crown stays in good condition.

It is possible to damage your crown. To avoid damage, avoid chewing on ice, hard foods, or other hard objects. Never use your teeth as tools to twist off bottle caps or open a bag of chips. Doing so may damage your crown.

It may take some time to get used to your new crown. After a little time has passed, the crown should look, feel, and function just like a regular tooth. You may even forget that it is there, except when you catch your new, attractive smile in a mirror.

Dental crowns can improve your smile and change your appearance. For more information about crowns in Jacksonville, FL, make an appointment with your dentist.