Your teeth are the hardest structures in your body (even more so than bone!), and are subjected to a significant amount of daily use. While they are strong, however, they are not immune to harm. When your teeth suffer damage (such as injury or decay), not only is their appearance affected, so too is your oral health. At Janice K. Pliszczak, DDS, we can restore damaged teeth with dental crowns.
What are Dental Crowns?
When damage to your teeth is more severe, it can affect more than your smile. It can also affect the health of your mouth. Dental crowns are “caps” that are designed to cover the entire visible surface area of a damaged, or otherwise compromised, tooth. It performs several functions – providing strength to the tooth, preventing further damage, and protect it from infection. A dental crown can also, in many cases, prevent the need for a tooth extraction.
Types of Dental Crowns
There are several different types of dental crowns:
Metal. Metal (or gold) crowns are the strongest crowns available. They can withstand even the strongest bite forces without harm, making them ideal for damaged teeth toward the back of your mouth (where pressures from the jaw are naturally stronger). However, the biggest disadvantage of metal is that it stands out distinctly against the rest of your teeth.
Porcelain fused to metal. PFM crowns attempt to combine the strength of metal with the aesthetics of porcelain. The metal base surrounds the tooth, providing it with the protection and support it needs. The porcelain coating gives the crown a more natural appearance. A major issue with these types of crowns is that a thin metal line often shows through the base.
All ceramic. Ceramic crowns are made entirely out of ceramic. While they cannot provide the superior strength of metal, they can still stand up to normal wear. Additionally, the material blends in perfectly with the rest of your natural teeth, making ceramic the ideal crown for teeth toward the front of your mouth.
How are Dental Crowns Placed?
Dental crowns typically require two visits to complete. During your first visit, we prepare the affected tooth (or teeth). What this means is that we remove a portion of the enamel from the tooth, effectively reducing it in size. We then take an impression of your mouth. The impression is sent to a lab, where it is used to design and create your permanent customized crown.
It often takes about two weeks for your crown to be finished. A temporary crown is placed to protect the damaged tooth during this time, helping to protect the tooth from infection. When your dental crown is ready, we check it for fit and then cement it in place.
Benefits of Dental Crowns
Dental crowns provide numerous benefits:
They protect weakened teeth, providing them with strength and keeping out bacteria.
Ceramic crowns not only restore the functions of your teeth, but they also restore their appearance. The material blends in seamlessly with the rest of your smile.
Crowns can protect a tooth following a root canal procedure.