Crowns are in…the jeweled variety anyway. You have news of Prince Harry getting engaged to an American actress. And then there’s the second season of The Crown on Netflix. Americans have always been fascinated by the system of government we went to war to get rid of.
At Gentle Dental, while we like a royal wedding as much as the next person, we’re bigger fans of dental crowns. We see dental crowns as a life jacket of sorts for a tooth that is in trouble. We use crowns to save damaged teeth and as anchors for bridges.
What is a crown?
A dental crown is a prosthesis that covers the entire visible portion of a tooth, interestingly also called the “crown” of the tooth. A dental crown fits over the tooth, covering it all the way down to the gumline. At Gentle Dental, we use only porcelain for our crowns, as we believe in the strength and aesthetics of porcelain.
What is the job of a crown?
Rather than sitting atop the head of someone who has never had a real job in his or her life, our crowns work. When a tooth is severely damaged, its strength is compromised. It could be a large crack, a serious amount of decay or the tooth could have already had a filling, and new decay formed dictating the need to remove an even more healthy tooth. When these conditions occur, the tooth is so weakened that it will eventually need to be extracted.
But not if you put a crown on it. A crown returns the strength to the tooth. It enables the patient to use the tooth again, rather than having to replace it with an implant or a bridge.
Crowns are also used as the anchors for dental bridges. Two crowns are placed on the two teeth on each side of the missing tooth. They support the artificial tooth in the middle.
How is a crown placed?
At Gentle Dental we can place your crown in two appointments. During the first visit, we prepare the tooth for the crown. First, any decay is removed. The tooth (or teeth) is then prepared for the crown. This involves removing a portion of the healthy tooth on all sides and top. This makes room for the crown to fit over the tooth. Next, we take impressions and photographs of your teeth. The dental lab uses these to fabricate the crown. The photos allow the lab technicians to match the color of the adjacent natural teeth. While waiting the two weeks or so that it takes to make your crown, we place a temporary crown on your tooth.
When your crown is finished, you return, and we check the finish and the color match of your crown. Once satisfied with the fit, the crown is glued permanently onto the tooth, and you’re good to go.