A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface, restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.
Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain (tooth colored crown) are the most popular. They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced. Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color of your teeth, giving you a long-lasting, beautiful smile.
Reasons for crowns:
- Broken or fractured teeth.
- Cosmetic enhancement.
- Decayed teeth.
- Fractured fillings.
- Large fillings.
- Tooth has a root canal.
What does getting a crown involve?
A crown procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown. A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory.
While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown. Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly.
At your second appointment, your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.
You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.
Traditionally, prosthodontic crowns were comprised of porcelain fused to metal. This solid combination is still used by many dental professionals as a simple, cost effective option. More recently however, the introduction of fully ceramic Procera® crowns have changed the aesthetic appearance of many smiles. Procera® crowns function in exactly the same way as traditional crowns, but their fully ceramic composition means that the restoration looks far more natural.
Dental crowns are usually placed to strengthen an injured tooth. All dental professionals agree that when possible, it is advantageous to restore a natural tooth rather than replace it with a prosthetic alternative. Procera® crowns are precision-engineered to create a beautiful fit and restore full functionality to the injured tooth.
Why might a Procera® crown be necessary?
Unlike the majority of the rest of the body, the teeth do not have extensive healing capabilities. Therefore, once the enamel (or surface) of the tooth is injured in some manner, it does not have the ability to heal itself. Dental crowns are placed to stabilize damaged teeth and permanently prevent the propagation of further damage. Enamel may be injured by trauma, bacterial infections or decay. Crowns are often used to seal teeth after root canal therapy.
Procera® crowns have many advantages over the porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) alternative, including:
- Exact color matching – Procera® crowns can be created in a color that will perfectly match the color of existing teeth. This means the restoration is invisible to onlookers.
- No metal base – The partially ceramic traditional crowns do look somewhat natural on top, but an unsightly metal band still exists near the base of the tooth. Procera® crowns completely eliminate the metal aspect.
- Biocompatibility – Procera® crowns have been engineered to encourage the gums to grow back around them. This means that eventually, full gum symmetry and stability is achieved.
- Custom fitting – Highly skilled technicians create custom Procera® crowns to ensure that a perfect fit is achieved.
What is involved in getting a Procera® crown?
Placing a crown is a common and straightforward procedure that dental professionals perform on a regular basis. X-rays and impressions are taken and a thorough examination is conducted prior to treatment. It is important for a dental professional to assess the health of adjacent teeth and gums, to ensure that there are no underlying issues.
A local anesthetic is administered while the tooth is being shaped. The shaping is necessary to ensure that the crown will fit snugly on the tooth. This process is done slowly and carefully to ensure that the soft tissue around the tooth is not damaged. When the tooth is fully prepared, the dental professional creates an accurate mold of the tooth and chooses the porcelain color. A temporary crown is placed while the custom Procera® crown is being created at the laboratory.
At the next appointment, the temporary crown is removed. The inner tooth is thoroughly cleansed to ensure that any bacteria are eliminated. The permanent Procera® crown is affixed to the tooth using luting cement, and a beautiful smile is created.
If you have questions or concerns about Procera® crowns, please contact our office.