Dental crowns and bridges
18 Mar 2020

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What Are Dental Crowns?

Crown restorations are one of the most common procedures performed by dental professionals. Dental crown restorations, although very common, are sometimes not very well understood. Many individuals are hesitant to undergo a crown restoration procedure to help fix many types of tooth and mouth problems.

If a crown restoration has been recommended for you by a dental professional, we’re here to help you get all the facts. It’s important to educate yourself and understand not only what a dental crown restoration is, but what’s involved with the procedure and aftercare.

We’ll provide all the information you need to wipe away any fears and misunderstandings so you can make the right choice for the health of your teeth.

What are dental crowns?

Dental crowns are fixed prosthetic restorations that are designed to help restore a damaged tooth to its original shape and size. If your tooth or teeth is chipped, cracked, damaged, or becomes severely decayed, a permanent crown can be cemented on top of the tooth to restore it.

A crown is designed to replace the outer aspect of your natural tooth. Although rare, in some cases, a crown may extend to the root’s surface. Crown restorations are placed atop and affixed to the portion of the tooth which sits above the gum line and encases the tooth.

Crowns are customized and designed to fit over each of your teeth and can be made to match the colour of your teeth, depending on the type of material used to create it. Dental crowns can be made of ceramics or porcelain combined with metal, gold, or resin. Once a crown has been cemented into place, it’s usually the only part of the tooth which is visible when you smile.

A crown sits atop your tooth like a covering or cap and protects whatever sits beneath it. Once the crown has been placed on your tooth and cemented into place, it becomes the new top of your tooth.

In some cases, it holds together your natural tooth underneath, keeping it from breaking apart. Crowns are meant to last you a lifetime, and in order to ensure this, they are made of durable materials that can withstand chewing just as well as your natural teeth can.

Although the crown is an additional piece to help restore your tooth, once it’s cemented onto your tooth, it becomes a part of that tooth.

When are dental crowns used?

The role of a dental crown is to assist structures within your mouth by supporting or replacing a structure that can no longer function independently. Dental crowns are the most effective solution for teeth that have been damaged. Dental crowns serve a number of important functions, including:

  • Protection of weak teeth
  • Restoration of broken or chipped teeth
  • Prevention of broken teeth from further damage
  • Supporting teeth which have large fillings
  • Holding dental bridges in place
  • Restoration of the appearance, shape, and alignment of a damaged tooth

Dental Crown Installation

The procedure involved with the installation of a dental crown is simple and logical. A dental professional will use the following steps when installing your dental crown:

  1. Numbing

    An anesthetic will be applied to numb the tooth that will be receiving the restoration as well as the gum tissue surrounding the target tooth.

  2. Shaving or building your tooth

    Your natural tooth will be prepared, and space will be made for the crown to be placed on top. A dental drill and abrasive bur are used to help remove the outer surface of the tooth from all sides, as well as the top.

    Alternatively, if there isn’t a sufficient amount of tooth left to support a crown, a crown build-up may be added so that the crown has a solid foundation to rest on.

  3. Making an impression

    An impression of your tooth will be made using a dental impression paste, putty, or a digital scanner. This impression is sent to a dental laboratory that will design your crown made to fit specifically on your tooth.

    Normally, the dental laboratory can take between two to three weeks to create the dental crown based on your impression. During this time, a temporary crown is placed on top of the prepared tooth during the initial visit. At Roots on Whyte Dental, we are able to provide finished ceramic work using our CEREC Omnicam and milling chamber during a single visit.

  4. Cementation

    Once the crown is prepared and ready to be added, the temporary crown will be removed, and the new crown will be adjusted to fit your tooth and bite. A special cement is used to firmly hold the crown in place and attach it to your tooth.

Crowns are one of the most common and effective dental tools to help save your natural teeth. Dental crowns can restore the shape, strength, appearance, and function of a tooth which has been damaged or decayed. They provide a strong and protective cap over your tooth so you can chew and enjoy all your favourite foods without any fear of damaging your tooth beneath the crown.

Saving your natural tooth is always a goal during treatment because gaps in your teeth can be detrimental in the long term. When a tooth decays, is broken, or damaged, it could leave a gap, which can cause shifting of your teeth because of the extra space.

This causes a slow shift in the alignment and spacing of your teeth, eventually changing the shape of your mouth and face. To avoid these unwanted changes, crowns help you provide a protective shield over the remaining portion of your natural tooth.

To learn more about dental crowns, call Roots on Whyte Dental at 888-602-2308 or contact us here.

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