Crowns are full coverage restorations that are used to cover a tooth that is likely to break, or one that is too broken down to be restored with a filling. Crowns are most commonly done after root canal treatment, or when a large filling wears out. The larger the hole made by a cavity that has to be treated, the more likely a crown will be needed. Even after a filling is put in a large cavity, a tooth is more likely to break. Keep in mind that the jaw muscles are the strongest in the human body. Teeth are subjected to tremendous pressures. Crowns ride over the weakened tooth, providing strength and protecting the tooth against breakage. A broken or cracked tooth is a far more serious matter and much more difficult to treat. Crowns prevent this and provide you with a beautiful smile.
It takes two appointments to restore a tooth with a crown. In the first appointment, any decay is removed from the tooth, and the tooth is shaped to accept the crown. Then, an impression is made of the tooth for use in fabricating a crown. Between the two visits, the crown is made-usually of high-strength porcelain over gold alloy, of all ceramic material, or of gold. While waiting for the permanent crown to be fabricated, a temporary crown is worn. During the second visit, the temporary crown is removed; then the permanent crown is adjusted, as needed, and the permanent crown is then cemented into place.
Porcelain, Gold or Silver Crowns
Your teeth undergo a tremendous amount of stress during your lifetime. Teeth may show this wear in a variety of ways, including discoloration, chipping and cracking. Crowns restore your teeth and smile to their original brilliance. Porcelain crowns can be made out of porcelain fused to metal or out of all porcelain and can be shaded to match your teeth. Crowns made of precious metal (gold) are also an option. After some tooth preparation, crowns are specifically fitted to restore functionality and to enhance the appearance of your smile. If you have pain when chewing or temperature sensitivity, ask Dr. Louscher and Dr. Brantner if crowns are right for you.
Q: What is a crown, and why might I need one?
A: If your doctor has recommended a crown to you, it is likely either to correct a broken tooth or to repair a tooth that has deteriorated due to cavities (decay). The decay in your tooth eats away healthy tooth structure much like rust eats away at metal. If not removed, decay will deteriorate the tooth to the point where extraction is the only viable treatment option. Sometimes, decay is removed leaving healthy tooth structure, but not much of it. A crown can then be placed-restoring the look and function of your tooth-while allowing you to keep your natural, underlying tooth structure. Most crowns are precision-milled porcelain or full metal (gold or silver) and are individually customized for each application in each patient, giving you a natural, long-lasting smile.