Sometimes our teeth are broken so much that a filling won’t be enough to repair it well. In those instances, we need to restore the tooth with a crown. Some people call it a “cap” because it covers the whole tooth.
What Is a Crown?
A crown is a dental restoration that generally covers the visible part of a tooth from the gums up. It’s made out of gold, porcelain (tooth colored), or a combination called PFM (porcelain fused to metal) where the tooth-colored porcelain covers a metal base underneath. We use a lab that has the most up-to-date materials in all-porcelain options such as BruxZir (zirconia) or e.max (lithium disilicate).
Why Do I Need a Crown?
A crown is usually recommended when a tooth isn’t strong enough for a filling. Once all the decay is removed, an old filling is taken out, or a broken area is evaluated, a tooth sometimes won’t be strong enough to hold up to all the biting and chewing we do. Placing a big filling in the middle of a thinned-out-tooth usually leads to a fracture sooner or later. In these cases, it’s better to cover the tooth with one solid piece that will be strong and “keep it together.”
How Do You Make My Crown?
A crown happens in two visits:
Visit 1 – Preparation
- Consent and Vitals – We get your written permission to perform the treatment and then we get your blood pressure and heart rate.
- Anesthetic – Because a crown is a lot of work on the tooth, we usually have to get patients numb. Yes, this means the needle, unfortunately. Don’t worry, though. We will use techniques that allow us to deliver the medication and minimize any discomfort.
- Build-Up – After eliminating any decay and old filling material, we usually have to place a new filling to allow for a good shape where the crown will be seated.
- Preparation – We then shape the tooth to a “stump” that the crown will fit over.
- Impression – We take a mold of the tooth and your bite for the laboratory to use in making the crown.
- Temporary Crown – We make you a temporary crown to wear until the “real” one comes back from the laboratory.
Visit 2 – Delivery
- Anesthetic – Most people are able to get through this visit without being numb. But some people need it because of sensitivity. Either way, we want you to be comfortable!
- Try-In – We remove the temporary crown and try in the final crown. We make sure it looks and feels good to you. We’ll also take an x-ray to make sure all the borders have a good fit.
- Adjustments – We check and make sure that floss snaps between the crown and the adjacent teeth and that it fits into your bite comfortably.
- Cementation – We then use a special adhesive to put the crown in “for good,” and then clean up. We’ll take one last x-ray to make sure we didn’t leave any adhesive under the gums or between the teeth.
Think You Might Need a Crown?
Please call our Canon City dental office at 719-285-4784 to make an appointment. We’ll look at all your teeth if you’d like to set up an initial exam, and we’ll see how we can help!