Crowns are synthetic tooth caps, made of ceramic, porcelain, or metal fused to porcelain. A crown forms an artificial replacement for the upper part of a tooth and covers the original tooth.
What are Crowns Used For?
Crowns are typically used to restore a tooth’s function and appearance when the underlying original tooth can no longer do so. Crowns are needed:
- Following a restorative procedure such as a root canal
- When decay in a tooth has become so advanced that large portions of the tooth must be removed
- To prevent a cracked or damaged tooth from getting worse
- When extensive cosmetic repair is needed, to whiten, reshape and realign existing teeth
- To provide attachment points for dental bridges
- To cover implants
- To prevent a cracked tooth from getting worse
- To protect an existing filling so it won’t become loose
- Cosmetically, to cover a tooth with a poor shape, or one that is discolored
Procedure for Placing a Crown
The final size of the crown will be the same as the original tooth. Therefore, the tooth must be reduced in size to accommodate the crown. First, though, Dr. Dorfman will make an impression of the existing tooth to send to a dental lab, where technicians create a custom-designed crown. In some cases, a temporary crown will be installed to protect the tooth until the permanent crown is ready.
When the permanent crown arrives from the lab, it will be permanently cemented into place.
Caring For Your Crowns
With proper care, a good quality dental crown may last eight years or so. It is very important to floss on both sides of the crown to remove plaque and debris. Remember, it is still possible for your tooth to decay around the base, if debris works its way under the edge of the crown. This won’t happen if you keep the area very clean. A dental water pik might help with this hygiene.
To extend the life of your crown, avoid eating brittle foods, ice, or hard candy. Also avoid clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth. If you do tend to clench your jaw or grind your teeth at night, ask us about a Night Guard.
Here at Tribeca Dental Care, the material used for crowns is either gold-fused-to-porcelain or all-ceramic with a layer of porcelain on the exterior. Porcelain is a type of ceramic, but a very strong one. Ask Dr. Dorfman which is the best choice for you. Every case is different. As an experienced cosmetic dentist, she has the knowledge to evaluate your teeth and recommend the best crown material.
Dr. Dorfman has placed over a thousand crowns during her dental career. You can be assured you are in experienced hands.